U.S. Attorney Charges Alleged $2 Million Bitcoin, Litecoin Fraudster In Landmark Case
On Thursday, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois issued a statement revealing that they, along with the Chicago office of the FBI, had charged a 24-year-old male with fraud for allegedly stealing $2.06 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) from his employer between September and November last year. In doing so, the accused created falsifying reports which was enough to conceal his actions from co-workers, until it wasn’t.
As per the federal criminal complaint:
[Joseph] Kim worked as an assistant trader for Consolidated Trading LLC, a Chicago trading firm that recently formed a cryptocurrency group to engage in cryptocurrency trading.”
Such an alleged crime came as a first for Chicago, with the federal prosecutors of the country’s third most populous city having never administered any charges related to cryptocurrency trading.
The day after the complaint was announced, Kim appeared before a magistrate in Chicago’s U.S. District Court where he was charged with one count of wire fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Kim, a self-diagnosed degenerate gambler, did not enter a plea during the initial court hearing. The incentive for Kim to steal such a large amount of crypto assets was almost certainly to cover his personal trading losses, with reports noting that he confessed to Consolidated Trading via email, lamenting how he got caught up in “perversely trying to fix what [he] had already done.” The case will continue under the title, U.S. v. Kim, District Court, Northern District of Illinois, No. 18-cr-00107.
This crypto-related regulatory news comes as the SEC suspended trading in three publicly-listed companies on Friday, all of which are headed by former NFL Super Bowl champion, Patrick J. Johnson.
These two significant events related to cryptocurrency that have taken place over the past few days will partly shape the eventual legal framework drawn up in Washington, D.C. The existence of any federal regulation won’t be appearing any time soon, however. These are at least the thoughts echoed by White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce, who on Friday said “I don’t think [government regulation is] close.”
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