The DOJ stated that the fraudsters tricked the victim into believing that his personal information was used to facilitate drug trafficking and money laundering schemes.
DOJ Returns Bitcoin Stealed from Elderly Victim
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), announced Tuesday that stolen cryptocurrency was returned to an elderly victim of a government scam.
According to the DOJ, fraudsters called the victim last August, claiming they were with the Office of the Inspector General.
The victim was tricked into believing that his personal information was being used to facilitate drug trafficking and money laundering schemes. All assets of the victim were then frozen.
The Justice Department stated that one of the imposters identified himself as James Hoffman and told the victim that he would need to deposit money into a government account until it verified that the victim had not been involved in criminal activity.
According to the DOJ, the scammers also demanded the victim's personal information as well as details about his financial accounts.
They instructed the victim to use hundreds of thousands of dollars from his retirement to buy bitcoin via cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
According to the DOJ
On August 31, 2021 12.164699 Bitcoin, approximately $574,766, went from the Coinbase account of the victim to the Coinbase account controlled by the imposters.
Coinbase and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), ultimately identified the transfer to be elder financial fraud. The Justice Department confirmed that the seized cryptocurrency had been forfeited to the United States after an investigation and successful civil forfeiture proceedings.