The United States has sold around 500 bitcoins seized in 2018 for $19.2 million. According to reports, this was the largest net forfeiture in the history of the Northern District of Ohio.
Federal officials in Ohio, the United States, have sold bitcoins obtained in a fraud case in 2018. Acting US Attorney Bridget M. Brennan revealed Thursday that the seized bitcoins were sold for roughly $19.23 million. The coins confiscated during the inquiry were estimated to be worth $2.88 million at the time. According to reports, this was the largest net forfeiture in the history of the Northern District of Ohio. Authorities have not revealed how or where the coins were sold.Mark Alex Simon, a 37-year-old Toledo man, was charged with forging identification credentials for people of Ohio, Michigan, and Utah. Driver’s licenses and personal identity cards were among the documents seized. He received payment in bitcoin. In June 2019, Simon pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and the transfer of fraudulent identification documents. He was given a two-year jail sentence. Simon had previously been probed by the police for making false identifications in 2008, but he was never charged.Authorities linked phony identification cards discovered at a pub near Wittenberg University to a website Simon created in 2015. According to court documents, the police were able to link the false cards to Simon and others who worked with him after months of inquiry. Authorities raided Simon’s Toledo house, as well as the homes of others connected to the case. Through forfeiture proceedings, they recovered more than 500 bitcoins from Simon. The proceeds of forfeiture cases are split between federal agencies and local police departments participating in the investigation, as well as utilized to compensate crime victims. Any money that is left over is returned to the US Treasury.