The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced the appointment of Eun Young Choi, a veteran cybersecurity prosecutor, to lead the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). The DoJ established NCET last year to investigate crypto-related crimes. Choi, a former Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, Lisa O. Monaco, will become the NCET’s first-ever Director.
Choi will lead the NCET team to investigate crypto-related crimes.
Choi will lead the NCET team to undertake ongoing DOJ investigations where crypto coins and digital assets are used to launder criminal profits. The NCET will focus on cryptocurrency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, infrastructure providers, and other firms that are facilitating the misuse of crypto assets and related technologies to commit criminal activities. In addition, Choi’s team will be in charge of training and supporting federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies and help them understand, investigate, and develop cases against criminal groups that use crypto coins to hide the origin of their funds.
US regulators are working on curbing crypto-related crimes.
Earlier this month, the DoJ seized $3.6 billion in Bitcoin that it said was linked to the 2016 hack of the Hong Kong cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex. The US agency has been investigating criminal cases associated with crypto trading and transactions and charging individuals culpable of crimes. The Justice department especially has continued to partner with federal agencies such as HSI (Homeland Security Investigations), ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to leverage their established programs and resources related to tracking illicit actors who use cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, the DOJ continues to partner with private sector firms and financial institutions to gain insight into crypto transactions (through blockchain-based forensics analysis) to identify transactions associated with illicit activities.