US Justice Department Returns Stolen Bitcoin to Victim of Government Imposter Scam – The United States Justice Department has seized bitcoin that was stolen from an elderly man in a government impostor fraud and will return it to him.
According to the DOJ, the victim was fooled into thinking his personal information was used to aid a money laundering scheme.
The US Department of Justice stated on Tuesday “The successful forfeiture and delivery of stolen cryptocurrency to an elderly man who was a victim of a government impostor scam.”
Fraudsters approached the victim by phone in August of last year, pretending to be from the Office of the Inspector General, according to the DOJ.
The victim was duped into believing that his personal information had been used to aid a money laundering scam, and that as a result, all of his assets would be blocked.
According to the Justice Department, “one of the imposters, who described himself as agent James Hoffman, told the victim that he needed to transfer monies into a safe government account until the agency verified that the victim was not involved in criminal activity.”
The scammers also sought all of the victim’s personal identifying information as well as financial account information, according to the DOJ.
They went on to tell the victim that he should “spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of his retirement funds” on bitcoin through cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
US Justice Department Returns Stolen Bitcoin to Victim of Government Imposter Scam – According to the Department of Justice:
“12.164699 bitcoin, worth roughly $574,766, was moved from the victim’s Coinbase account to the imposters’ account on August 31, 2021.”
The transfer was eventually detected as suspected elder financial fraud by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Coinbase. “The confiscated cryptocurrency was forfeited to the United States and will be returned to the victim,” the Justice Department stated after an investigation and successful civil forfeiture procedures.