Laundering money remains one of the most popular activities among criminals all over the world. Even though the chances of getting caught are very real, to say the least, criminals think they can get away with doing so regardless. The Department of Justice recently indicted 19 people for fraud and money laundering Contrary to popular belief, none of these incidents revolves around bitcoin or cryptocurrency.

Global Fraud And Money Laundering Doesn’t Need Bitcoin

Many people feel bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies merely act as facilitators for global fraud and money laundering. While it is true these currencies provide pseudonymity or anonymity in some cases, obtaining or selling bitcoin is anything but anonymous. In fact, users need to go through a KYC protocol regardless of how they want to sell bitcoin. This makes cryptocurrency far less suited for these nefarious financial practices. Plus, the bitcoin network broadcasts all transactions in real-time to the entire world.

The indictment by the Department of Justice has to do with more traditional forms of money laundering and fraud. A total of US$13m has been stolen from over 170 victims, most of whom reside within the United States itself. This attracted the attention of the FBI and the DoJ, which ultimately lead to a thorough investigation. It turns out these criminals made use of so-called BEC – business email compronisese – scams. By impersonating company officials and sending emails from their corporate account, they were able to have staffers send wire transfers to foreign bank accounts.

Sixteen of the nineteen people responsible for this scam have been arrested overnight by the FBI. Two men are still at large, whereas the final person was taken into custody at an earlier date.  It is unclear where the two fugitives at large may be holding up, although it is believed their arrest is only a matter of time. It took several years to identify the people responsible for this wave of BEC scams, as it is a collaborative effort between international law enforcement agencies.

It is evident the DoJ wants to move swiftly on this case, as the indictments filed against those arrested can lead to hefty jail sentences. Online vehicle fraud, business email compromise, unlicensed money transmitting and international money laundering are all very serious offenses which should not be taken lightly by any means.In fact, it is likely all of those arrested will face at least ten years in jail within the United States.

Business email companies scams have become more popular among cyber criminals all over the world. With so many corporate email systems vulnerable to attack, it is only a matter of time until events like these transpire. Moreover, hackers can impersonate legitimate company officials with relative ease once they gain access to their email account. It is virtually impossible for staffers to verify these requests are legitimate, as most targeted businesses conduct international transactions on  a regular basis

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.