US Enforcement Agencies to Seize $22M Worth Crypto

35 suspects in the arms and drugs trade were detained during a secret operation that lasted a year
27 June 2018   1324

Special agents of the US Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the secret service and the DEA, seized about 2,000 bitcoins and other crypto-currencies worth $ 22 million from the darknet sellers, according to the website of the US Department of Justice.

35 suspects in the arms and drugs trade were detained during a secret operation that lasted a year.

On darknet-sites, such as Silk Road 2, AlphaBay and Hansa, special agents offered to exchange crypto-currency for dollars allegedly for money laundering. As a result, they went to the traders of illegal goods. The prosecutor's office has already started more than 90 criminal cases

Criminals who think that they are safe on the Darknet are wrong,” said Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.  “We can expose their networks, and we are determined to bring them to justice. Today, we arrested more than 35 alleged Darknet vendors.  We seized their weapons, their drugs, and $23.6 million of their ill-gotten gains. This nationwide enforcement effort will reduce the supply of deadly drugs like fentanyl that are killing an unprecedented number of Americans.  I want to thank our federal prosecutors, and the dedicated federal agents with DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, the Postal Inspection Service, and the Secret Service for their outstanding work.
 

Rod J. Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General

As part of the special operation, the prosecutor's office charged two suspects Ryan Fares and Robert Swain, who from 2013 to 2017 sold drugs through a darknet. The authorities of the country want to recover from them $ 5.6 million in addition to the cost of 4000 BTC, allegedly received by them from illegal sales, and also confiscate two mansions and a car.

We note that the US government sells the confiscated cryptocurrency at auctions. So, in the period from 2013 to 2014, the country's authorities put up for sale 80 thousand bitcoins.

Israeli BTC Investors to Face Catch 22

They need to pay taxes from Bitcoin investing in order to avoid their property arrest, but banks don't take their money due to AML issues
06 August 2019   168

Bitcoin investors in Israel are faced with the impossibility of paying taxes, as local banks refuse to accept funds received from the sale of cryptocurrencies because of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. About this writes the local edition of Haaretz on August 6.

Bitcoin is not recognized as a currency in Israel, therefore, individuals must pay 25% of the income from cryptocurrency trading to the treasury, and legal entities - 47%.

Investor Ron Gross told the publication that he acquired bitcoins in 2011 and reported his income to the tax office. In 2017, the bank that served Gross began to refuse to accept funds received from the sale of bitcoins. The investor met with representatives of the bank to demonstrate to them a 70-page history of bitcoin transactions as confirmation of the origin of the funds, but failed to convince them.

The tax authority is aware of the problem, but they say the ball isn’t in their courts. I’ve tried working with almost all the banks, but the minute they hear the word ‘Bitcoin’ they freeze up.
 

Ron Gross

Bitcoin investor from Israel

 

Since Gross was unable to pay taxes on time, his bank account, home, and even scooters were arrested. According to the investor, the tax authorities know about the problem, but can do nothing.

According to Haaretz, the tax office is aware of $ 86 million in unpaid taxes on income from cryptocurrency trading. It is possible that the real amount may be significantly higher.

Roy Arav, another Bitcoin investor, kept the proceeds from trading Bitcoin in an account with Israeli bank Discount under the control of the Bit2C exchange. The bank refuses to transfer money to Arava’s personal account under the pretext that its politicians forbid it to transfer funds related to virtual assets to client accounts due to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Arav also could not pay taxes and was forced to sue the bank. According to the investor, the authorities entered his position and granted him a deferral of time for the consideration of the claim.