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US Seizes $500,000 in Crypto Linked to Southeast Asia Fraud

 |  December 12, 2023

United States authorities have seized approximately half a million dollars in digital currency from an account registered to Wang Yicheng, a Chinese man implicated in a Reuters investigation into fraudulent activities originating from Southeast Asia.

The U.S. Secret Service executed the seizure in June, targeting an account associated with Wang Yicheng, according to documents filed in federal court in Massachusetts. At the time of the seizure, the digital currency was valued at around $500,000. Authorities have stated that the confiscated funds were traced back to a victim in Massachusetts, highlighting the global reach of the crypto-investment fraud scheme.

The fraudulent operation, known as pig butchering, involves manipulating individuals encountered online into investing in fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes. The scheme typically preys on unsuspecting victims who fall prey to the promises of lucrative returns on their investments.

Read more: Crypto Companies Push For Congressional Support To Regulate SEC

Wang Yicheng, identified in a recent Reuters article, was revealed as a businessman who had established connections with members of Thailand’s law enforcement and political elite while serving as the vice president of a Chinese trade group based in Bangkok. The investigative report, published last month on November 23, shed light on how Wang’s crypto account had received over $90 million in recent years. Documents and transaction logs formed the basis of this revelation, with at least $9.1 million traced back to a crypto wallet linked to pig-butchering scams, as reported by U.S. blockchain analysis firm TRM Labs.

The U.S. government’s actions underscore the commitment to combating international crypto fraud and protecting victims. The seizure represents a significant step in disrupting the financial operations of those involved in such fraudulent schemes.

As the investigation continues, U.S. authorities are working to unravel the intricate network behind pig-butchering scams, emphasizing the collaborative efforts required to combat cross-border crypto fraud. The case serves as a reminder of the challenges associated with policing the rapidly evolving and global landscape of cryptocurrency investments. Authorities are urging individuals to remain vigilant and exercise caution when engaging in online investment opportunities to avoid falling victim to such scams.

Source: Reuters