US Files Suit Against Crypto Accounts Tied to North Korea

Prosecutors say the 280 accounts hold crypto stolen from two exchange hacks last year.

Aug 27, 2020 at 8:42 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:49 a.m. UTC

U.S. prosecutors are going after 280 cryptocurrency accounts allegedly tied to North Korea's multimillion-dollar crypto heists and laundering networks with a new forfeiture suit filed Thursday.

  • Justice Department investigators say they traced the accounts to two cryptocurrency exchange hacks allegedly perpetrated by North Korea'a state-sponsored cyber hackers last year.
  • The first, last July, emptied $272,000 in Proton, PlayGame and IHT Real Estate Protocol alt-coins from an unnamed exchange, according to prosecutors.
  • They further allege that a second hack stole $2.5 million in crypto from a U.S.-based exchange two months later.
  • North Koreans sloshed those funds through Chinese over-the-counter cryptocurrency traders linked to previous crypto laundering operations, according to prosecutors.
  • The forfeiture complaint offers a detailed glimpse at the financial gears keeping North Korea's alleged crypto laundering machine moving.


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