Using Civil Forfeiture to Seize Cryptocurrency

As the seizure in May 2021 of the bitcoins used to pay the ransom in the Colonial Pipeline case makes clear, civil forfeiture is the vehicle that allows the Government to recover such property when the perpetrators remain unknown or abroad.  This article from several years ago by AUSA Shirley Emehelu (D.N.J.) explains how cryptocurrencies are used by criminals, the vocabulary that applies in such cases, and how law enforcement uses civil forfeiture to recover the tainted property.  The article is entitled, “A Shot in the Dark: Using Asset Forfeiture Tools to Identify and Restrain Criminals’ Cryptocurrency,” was published in the October 2018 issue of the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE JOURNAL OF FEDERAL LAW AND PRACTICE.

Emehelu Article on Cryptocurrency