Cryptocurrency and Crime

The sentencing of Samuel Bankman-Fried on fraud charges in the FTX case — which included an $11 billion forfeiture judgment — prompted me to ask whether the invention of cryptocurrency had created wholly new opportunities for criminals to make money, or to gain some advantage over their victims and law enforcement, or whether crimes like Bankman-Fried’s investment fraud scheme were simply old crimes appearing in a new context.  It turns out that its quite a bit of both.  I have found nearly 50 reported cases — money laundering and forfeiture cases from U.S. federal courts — in which cryptocurrency factored as the object or the instrument of the crime.  And they involve both old wine in new bottles as well as entirely new schemes and challenges for law enforcement.

The following links are to an article I’ve submitted to the Journal of Financial Crime on this issue, and to my compilation of citations and summaries to the relevant cases.

Cryptocurrency and Crime: Old Crimes Committed in New Ways, or a New Order of Challenges for Law Enforcement?

Crypto Case Summaries – by topic