The U.S. authorities are confiscating 4000 bitcoins after a dark web marketplace crackdown.
The Department of Justice from the U.S. has announced on June 26 that the crackdown resulted with the indictment of Ryan Farace and Robert Swain. The two are accused of allegedly manufacturing drugs and selling it on several marketplaces on the dark web.
“The indictment alleges that Farace distributed the drugs through sales on the dark web in exchange for Bitcoin and that Farace and Swain laundered the drug proceeds through financial transactions designed to conceal the source and ownership of the illegal funds.”
According to the document the two vendors have been using bitcoin as means of receiving payments since 2013 for a counterfeit version of the prescription drug Xanax.
The authorities have declared that they have seized assets worth over $28 million, namely $24 million in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at the time of writing, computer equipment worth $2.5 million and $1.5 million in cash.
The state officials have also hinted that they wish to place the assets, including bitcoin under forfeiture. Meaning that the cryptocurrencies will not return to the market anytime soon. This action will be approved or denied by the court.
“As part of the indictment, the government seeks the forfeiture of no less than $5,665,000, plus the value of 4,000 bitcoin believed to be the proceeds of the illegal drug sales,” reads the release.
If the request is approved, the U.S. government will add the newly seized bitcoins in the “vault” where they already hold other confiscated cryptocurrencies which will someday be auctioned.
Farace and Swain are facing a maximum of 20 years in prison for money laundering conspiracy, and the trial is scheduled for July 13, 2018, in the District Court in Baltimore.
In the end, the Department of Justice stated that this case was a part of a bigger action dubbed the Operation Dark Gold which was in force for one year.