Fed concludes the sale of seized Bitcoins comprising over 500 units which it had taken into custody in the year 2018. The sale proceeds of seized Bitcoins collected a fund exceeding US$ 19.2 Million. This was in fact the biggest net forfeiture that took place in Ohio’s past history.
Federal Agencies in Ohio, US have recently concluded the sale of forfeited Bitcoins. Approximately 500 units of Bitcoins were sold through the auction for an aggregate value of US$ 19.23 Million. This was by far the most valued forfeiture that took place in the Northern District of the State of Ohio. Reportedly, the sold Bitcoins were part of crypto fraud and a Ponzi scheme against which the Feds had initiated an operation in 2018. Back then searches were conducted by the Feds and resultantly the authority had seized Bitcoins under “seized goods”.
It was announced by the acting US Attorney that the sale was concluded successfully. He also informed that the state had collected US$ 19.23 Million in the form of sale proceeds.
At the time, when these Bitcoins were seized, their value was not more than US$ 2.88 Million. However, it was in 2018, some three years ago. In the mid of the year 2019, Bitcoin’s value skyrocketed and continued to increase further. From 2018 till date, it is clear that the State of Ohio had earned an amount of US$ 16 Million plus on top of its 2018 value.
It was also reported that the said Bitcoins were retrieved from a person named Mark Alex Simon. Simon was allegedly involved in the business of providing false identity documents to people residing in the areas of Utah, Ohio, and Michigan. He asked for his clients to do the dirty work by paying him in the form of crypto, especially Bitcoin. When Simon was arrested and brought before the trial, he pleaded his case as guilty. He accepted that he was involved in the activities of money laundering and forging fake identity documents.
During the trial, the Court was also apprised that Simon was a repeated offender as he had been subjected to inquiries several times. For instance, in 2008 also, he was arrested on the allegations of forging identity documents. However, due to lack of evidence, Simon got away and no charges could have been leveled against him.
Similarly, once again in 2015, the authorities found evidence of Simon’s involvement in forging the identification documents. The forged document was in fact found out by the local police which was in fact lying outside a bar. The police then noticed that the place from where fake cards were found was the same where Simon had established his website. However, even then due to lack of commendable evidence, the charges were dropped by the trial court.
However, when he was arrested in 2018, the agencies had evidence. The Court thereafter sentenced him to serve two years in judicial confinement on the charges of money laundering and forging documents.