The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized $9 million in the stablecoin Tether (USDT) from wallets linked to a crypto romance and confidence scam called “pig butchering”, the DOJ said in a press release on Tuesday.
This follows yesterday’s announcement by Tether that it had frozen $255 million in USDT linked to a human trafficking scheme in Southeast Asia. The crypto company said the freeze was a collaborative effort between Tether and crypto exchange OKX.
Nicole M. Argentieri, the Ag. Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, commented: “These scammers prey on ordinary investors by creating websites that tell victims their investments are working to make them money. The truth is that these international criminal actors are simply stealing cryptocurrency and leaving victims with nothing.”
The seizure of the $9 million came about after extensive investigation and collaboration between the DOJ and US Secret Service agents and analysts. Per the US government agency, the perpetrators allegedly laundered this money across multiple exchanges and addresses, employing a technique known as “chain hopping.” Investigations into the scam were conducted by the US Secret Service, San Francisco Field Office.