The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two Chinese nationals accused of washing cryptocurrency that was purloined in a 2019 crypto alternate hack. At the identical time, the Department of Justice introduced an bill of indictment for cash washing con to the identical two people.
Their exercise is connected to Lazarus Group, a hacking group allegedly bound up the North Korean authorities. OFAC accuses Yinyin Tian and Juiadong Li of aiding “a leering cyber-enabled activity.” Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave the next assertion:
“The North Korean regime has continued its widespread campaign of extensive cyber-attacks on business enterprise institutions to steal funds. The United States will continue to protect the global business enterprise system by holding responsible those who help North Korea engage in cyber-crime.”
Stole $250 million, Laundered $100 million
On the separate Department of Justice costs, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division commented:
“These defendants allegedly washed over a hundred million dollars worth of purloined cryptocurrency to obscure minutes for the benefit of actors based in North Korea.Today’s actions underscore that the Department will pierce the veil of anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies to hold criminals responsible, irrespective where they are located.”
The bill of indictment alleges that “the North Korean co-conspirators,”in 2019, stole $250 million price of cryptocurrency from an alternate (could consult the Coincheck hack); and that Tian Yinyin and Li Juiadong managed to wash $100 million price of cryptocurrency between December 2019 and April 2019 for his or her North Korean accomplices.
According to the paperwork, “the North Korean co-conspirators” are in addition answerable for the hacking of a South Korean alternate in November of 2019, stealing $48.5 million price of cryptocurrency – probably, a reference to the UpBit hacking, which had roughly the identical amount of Ether purloined on the identical time.
According to the Department of Justice’s press launch:
“The civil forfeiture complaint specifically name calling 113 virtual currency accounts and addresses that were used by the defendants and nameless co-conspirators to wash funds.The forfeiture complaint seeks to recover the funds, a portion of which has already been seized.”
20 handle vs. 113 addresses
The civil forfeiture criticism lists 113 cryptocurrencies “accounts and addresses that were used by the defendants and nameless co-conspirators to wash funds. The forfeiture complaint seeks to recover the funds, a portion of which has already been seized.”
However, the OFAC has added exclusively 20 bitcoin addresses to its Specially Designated Nationals listing. Twelve are connected with Juiadong Li, whereas eight with Yinyin Tian.
Currently, none of these 20 addresses maintain any bitcoins. However, all of those addresses appear to belong to only 5 wallets, that maintain 139411.6022 BTC. One of these wallets is recognized by two separate pockets explorers as being on the Huobi alternate – although it’s after all realizable that each assets have misattributed it.
It is unclear presently why OFAC exclusively added 20 addresses to the listing if the Department of Justice is aware of of 113 crypto addresses and accounts related with the accused.