64 minutes | Oct 20th 2020

How This DOJ Strike Force Hunts Down Cryptocurrency Criminals - Ep.195

Magistrate judge Zia Faruqui, and Jessi Brooks, assistant U.S. attorney in the national security section at the United States Attorney’s Office, have prosecuted several cryptocurrency-related cases, many of them amongst the most well-known. In this episode, they talk about:

  • how they came to be involved in the prosecution of so many cases involving cryptocurrency
  • the nature of civil forfeiture cases
  • the Al-Qassam Brigades case, which led to the largest ever seizure of a terrorist organization’s cryptocurrency accounts, and the terrorist organization’s use of dynamic addresses in an attempt to elude detection by authorities.
  • how Al Qaeda used Telegram to pursue cryptocurrency donations
  • the case involving ISIS and counterfeit PPE for COVID
  • the process of seizing funds from unhosted wallets
  • the North Korean affiliated Lazarus Group, and how they were able to amass $2580 million worth of cryptocurrency
  • the methods hackers will use to cash out stolen crypto funds to fiat
  • how different government agencies in the U.S., as well as in other countries, are coordinated when tackling these cases
  • the Welcome to Video case and how they went about prosecuting a person in a foreign country
  • how they’ve seen the use of cryptocurrencies by criminals evolve over time
  • and whether or not they think decentralized exchanges will make it easier for criminals and hackers to cash out


Thank you to our sponsor! 

Crypto.com: https://www.crypto.com


Episode links: 

Jessi Brooks: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-brooks-8289ab32/

Zia’s Faruqui: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zia-faruqui-a73ba11a5/


Three terror-finance cybercrime cases: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/global-disruption-three-terror-finance-cyber-enabled-campaigns


The Al-Qassam Brigades case: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/global-disruption-three-terror-finance-cyber-enabled-campaigns


Scam PPE site: https://www.wired.com/story/isis-allegedly-ran-a-covid-19-ppe-scam-site/


Civil forfeiture complaint against North Korea-affiliated hackers, Lazarus Group: 





Welcome to Video indictment: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/south-korean-national-and-hundreds-others-charged-worldwide-takedown-largest-darknet-child


Dark Scandals: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2020/03/13/dark-deja-vu-irs-announces-charges-in-takedown-of-multi-million-dollar-child-exploitation-website-funded-by-bitcoin/#4a09b2ac28ae


Jonathan Levin from Chainalysis on Unchained: https://unchainedpodcast.com/how-bitcoin-led-to-the-demise-of-the-largest-child-porn-site/

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