Everyone’s getting busted in this week’s roundup of the most compelling cryptocurrency-related crime stories from around the web.
Feds Arrest Alleged Opioid Power Duo
The feds last week revealed that in April they busted MH4Life, allegedly “the most prolific dark net fentanyl vendor in the United States and the fourth most prolific in the world,” as part of the menacingly titled Operation Darkness Falls. MH4LIFE and MRHIGH4LIFE were just two of the screen names said to be used by San Antonio-based Matthew and Holly Roberts, both 35, on various dark web marketplaces, where authorities say they sold fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, meth, and other illicit substances. In an effort to cover their tracks, the two allegedly used crypto to purchase postage from third-party vendors, which they in turn used to mail drugs. MH4LIFE must have been doing something right: Their account on Dream Market had 2,800 verified transactions and an impressive 4.89/5 rating. [Justice.gov]
Chinese Cops Nab Trio in $87 Million Crypto Swindle
Chinese police earlier this month nabbed three hackers who allegedly stole 600 million yuan ($87 million) worth of crypto from individuals and companies—the biggest recorded case of its kind in China. The bust stems from an investigation that began in March, after a man surnamed Zhang told authorities that hackers had taken over his computer, swiping 100 million yuan worth of bitcoin and Ether. The thieves reportedly left a digital trail that led to a suspect surnamed Zhou, whose communications directed them to two alleged accomplices. The three were said to be part of a “highly intelligent criminal gang,” though clearly not highly intelligent enough to avoid getting caught. [CGTN]
BitConnect Bigwig Busted in India
Authorities arrested Divyesh Darji, the head of crypto-trading company BitConnect’s Indian market, earlier this month at the Delhi airport after he got off a flight from Dubai, where he is based. The exchange had ceased operations in January amid allegations, from the likes of Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin and prominent crypto investor Mike Novogratz, that it was a Ponzi scheme; the shutdown rendered the firm’s proprietary tokens, BitConnect Coin, near worthless. Besides countless angry investors, BitConnect’s biggest legacy is this gloriously insane video: