Darknet Drug Dealer Accused of Laundering $136M Worth of Bitcoin
The American authorities have accused the Baltimore resident – Ryan Farace – of laundering2,933 BTC between October 2019 and April 2021. Interestingly, the man was sent to jail in 2018 and has presumably executed the criminal activities from behind bars.
‘Xanaxman’ Dealing with Bitcoin Even from Prison
According to The Baltimore Sun, officials of the state of Maryland had pressed charges against Ryan Farace – also know as “Xanaxman” – for laundering 2,933 BTC over the period of less than three years. As per today’s prices, this amount is more than $136 million.
The criminal and his father are currently serving a 57-month federal prison sentence for selling Alprazolam – a sedative to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
Farace operated on the notorious Dark Web, but the police caught him in 2018. As part of his sentence, back then, he had to forfeit $5.6 million that he generated out of his illicit activities. He also had to give away his crypto holdings of 4,000 BTC.
The investigators are still unaware whether the aforementioned 2,933 coins are part of the initial 4,000 BTC. They noted that Farace might have possessed even more digital assets that the government did not know about in the first place.
The 37-yeard-old convict sought compassionate release in 2020, citing bad health conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic. The officials, though, denied his request, and he remained in prison.
The Head of Bitcoin Fog Laundered $336 Million in Bitcoin
It’s worth noting that the aforementioned case is not an isolated incident. As CryptoPotato reported in April, the Federal Service in the USA arrested Roman Sterlingov – the leader of the notorious bitcoin anonymizer Bitcoin Fog – on suspicion of laundering nearly $336 million in the digital asset over the last 10 years.
The Russian-Swedish resident supposedly offered protection services to users who wanted to keep their crypto assets under maximum security. For this, he charged commissions ranging between 2% and 2.5%.
Per the IRS calculations, the perpetrator pocketed the funds and used them to establish Bitcoin Fog’s server. These actions raised concerns, and the following investigation revealed Sterlingov’s criminal operations over the last decade.
Sarah Meiklejohn – a computer scientist at the University College of London – praised this “follow the money” technique that the investigators used:
“With blockchain analytics, the thing we say over and over is that all this activity is on this ledger forever, and if you did something bad 10 years ago you can be caught and arrested for it today.”