Federal authorities in Ohio sold bitcoins that were seized in 2018 during a court case involving the sale of fake documents.
Due to the increase in the price of bitcoin, the initial value at the time of the seizure was $ 2.88 million. On the other hand, the sales price was equal to 19.23 million, almost ten times the original value. However, the methods of selling the seized bitcoins have not been disclosed.
The case of the maxi bitcoin seizure in Ohio
The court case dates back to 2018 and sees as its protagonist a 37-year-old man from Toledo (Ohio) who had created a website where he sold false identity documents, paid for in bitcoin. The man has already pleaded guilty and was also sentenced to 24 months in prison.
The system was proven: via the website the person commissioning the document sent the photo and information he wanted to see on the document. The payment was made in bitcoins and the documents (driver’s license and identity card) were delivered by post.
According to Bitcoin.com reports, the investigations started in 2015 when the first fake documents were found. After months of investigations, the authorities discovered who managed the website also due to the fact that the return address of the envelopes containing the false documents was located in the city of Loreto.
The authorities then reached the house of the person responsible and at the same time managed to seize 500 bitcoins which were then sold three years later.
The proceeds from the sale become directly part of the US Treasury.
The cases of Bitcoin seized
By its nature, it is difficult to get a bitcoin seizure, unless the holder shares his private keys or the seed.
For example, in the case of Silk Road, when bitcoins worth $ 1 billion were seized, it was later clarified that someone known as “individual x” shared how to access the “treasure”.
An entirely different precedent took place in Germany . In that case, the seizure amounting to 50 million euros took place , but the authorities were unable to get hold of the BTCs precisely because the holder refused to share his private keys.
In any case, these news episodes show that it is possible, even if difficult, for the judicial authorities to get hold of bitcoins from illicit activities.