Forfeiture of Virtual Currency as Terrorist Assets

The government filed a civil forfeiture action against over 100 virtual currency accounts stolen by persons acting on behalf of North Korea from virtual currency exchanges.  The complaint alleged three theories of forfeiture: that the because the virtual currencies were sent into and out of the United States in furtherance of the theft, they were subject to forfeiture under 18 U.S.C. 981(a)(1)(A) as property involved in international promotional money laundering (18 U.S.C. 1956(a)(2)(A)) and the operation of an unregistered money transmitting business (18 U.S.C. 1960), and under 18 U.S.C. 981(a)(1)(G) as the property of North Korea, a designated state sponsor of terrorism.  The government’s 45-page probable cause affidavit is posted below.  The court order finding probable cause for the arrest of the virtual currency accounts is reported at United States v. 113 Virtual Currency Accounts, 2020 WL 4515361 (D.D.C. Aug. 4, 2020).

Probable Cause Affidavit for 113 Virtual Currency Accounts