Crypto frauds and stealings had been done in distinct ways and the recently reported one met the irony. A man from Ohio reported to slither with the crypto assets under the custody of US authority. The stolen assets were also seized after the other criminal case earlier committed by the culprit’s brother.
On Friday, January 6th, 2023, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that 31-year old Gary Hames Harmon pleaded guilty. He took responsibility for the crime of procuring bitcoin and other crypto assets unlawfully. The federal government seized the stolen assets earlier.
According to the Justice Department, Harmon accepted the blame for “perpetrating a scheme to steal cryptocurrency” pending for criminal confiscation.
“Harmon pleaded guilty to wire fraud and obstruction of justice for unlawfully taking more than 712 bitcoin that had been seized by law enforcement and was subject to forfeiture in the pending criminal prosecution of Larry Harmon”, noted the DOJ
US Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation Darell J. Waldon and Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal and Cyber Divisions of FBI Washington Field Office Wayne A. Jacobs announced Haormon’s plea.
The DOJ informed that the convict agreed in his plea “to the forfeiture of cryptocurrencies and other properties” taken after the fraud proceedings. The seized assets include over 647.7 Bitcoin (BTC), 2.14 Ethereum (ETH) and 17,404,400.64 Dogecoin (DOGE). The overall value of the forfeitable properties, after accounting for price changes in the market, is over 12 million USD.
About the potential punishment, the US authority highlighted that the statutory maximum sentence for charges of wire fraud and obstruction of justice is imprisonment of up to 20 years each.
The sentencing hearing for Harmon’s case was scheduled for March 17th, 2023 by the US District Court Chief Beryl A. Howell.
The federal government seized a Trezor hardware wallet belonging to Larry Harmon, who was detained in February 2020, that contained the stolen bitcoin. Larry Harmon was the main accused involved in the seizure. The gadget was kept in an evidence locker at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The DOJ stated that the complicated security setup of the device prevented federal authorities from securing the coins.
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