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U.S. Attorney Pursues $2.3M Crypto Recovery in 'Pig Butchering' Scam

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts seeks to reclaim $2.3 million in cryptocurrency linked to a fraudulent scheme, highlighting ongoing efforts to combat crypto-related fraud.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts has taken legal action to recover $2.3 million in cryptocurrency linked to a fraudulent scheme known as the "pig butchering" operation. This scheme targeted a Massachusetts resident and 36 other victims, leading to the seizure of various cryptocurrencies, including USD Coin, Tether, Ether, and Solana's SOL.

Background of the Scheme

The "pig butchering" technique involves scammers building trust with victims online, persuading them to invest in a cryptocurrency scheme. However, the victims soon realize they have been defrauded. Regulators have warned investors about this deceptive tactic and have taken action against perpetrators.

The cryptocurrencies, totaling nearly 300,000 USDC, 1.5 million USDT, 102,000 Tron, 3,000 SOL, and 14,000 Cardano, were seized from two Binance accounts in January. The investigation began in the spring of 2023, leading to the confiscation of funds connected to 37 victims, including the Massachusetts resident.

The scam victim was deceived into transferring $400,000 to the scammers, who then moved the funds to other wallets associated with the other victims. This civil forfeiture action aims to return the seized funds to the victims.

Recent Developments and Cooperation

This action follows the recent seizure of $1.4 million in USDT from an unhosted virtual wallet linked to a tech support scam targeting the elderly. Tether cooperated in the asset recovery, redirecting the funds to alternative wallets under government supervision for victim restitution.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network have also issued warnings regarding the "pig butchering" technique, cautioning investors against falling victim to such schemes.