U.S. DOJ's Crypto Enforcement Director Promises Crackdown on Illicit Behavior on Exchanges: FT

Eun Young Choi said the DoJ is targeting crypto exchanges that allow "criminal actors to easily profit from their crimes and cash out,"

AccessTimeIconMay 15, 2023 at 8:42 a.m. UTC
Updated May 15, 2023 at 4:25 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) head of crypto enforcement has promised a crackdown on illicit behaviour on trading platforms, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Monday.

Eun Young Choi, director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET), said the DOJ is targeting crypto exchanges that allow "criminal actors to easily profit from their crimes and cash out," as a means of fighting crypto crime which she said has grown "significantly" in the last four years.

Choi added that the department's focus is on businesses that sidestep anti-money laundering or know-your-customer rules or who do not engage in thorough compliance and risk mitigation.

"We hope that by focusing on those types of platforms, we're going to have a multiplier effect," she said.

The NCET also aims to bring more enforcement actions against investment scams, which Choi describes as "pig butchering" schemes, after a Chinese phrase referencing fattening pigs for slaughter, which involve scammers building relationships with victims over a period of months.

The agency last month announced busting around $112 million from six such scams. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has estimated that $3.31 billion was stolen from people through investment fraud in 2022, with crypto-related scams accounting for over $2.5 billion of that figure.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.