Bitcoin: Cops Seize $4.7 Million of Crypto in Fake-ID Ring Case

Two people were arrested.

Flickr / zcopley

While bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have emerged into the mainstream as popular investment assets, they are still being used as a means of anonymous payment in criminal activity.

Mark A. Simon and Sarah M. Alberts of Toledo, Ohio have been arrested for allegedly running a large-scale fake ID ring and selling them online for bitcoin.

According to a report by The Toledo Blade an affidavit filed on Tuesday revealed that local police seized $4.7 million worth of bitcoin stored in 30 wallets on a USB drive found in Simon’s home.

Both suspects are being accused of distributing false IDs under the online pseudonym TedDanzigSR on Reddit. A Twitter account with the same name was also advertising its unlawful services on the social media site. Whether Simon or Alberts were behind these accounts still remains to be proven.

The Toledo Blade report also went on to state that an account once active on the Silk Road — a now-defunct online black market — also under the name TedDanzigSR was among the most popular distributors of fake IDs. This suggests that once the website was shut down by the FBI in 2013, the vendor or vendors continued to conduct their illicit business on other, more public platforms.

This is not the first time United States authorities have seized large amount of cryptocurrencies being used in criminal activities. In the aforementioned shutting down of the Silk Road, the U.S. government reported it has claimed $48 million worth of bitcoin from the black market site.

While cryptocurrency has come a long way since being the tender of choice for illegal online markets, it is still being used for some sketchy activities as is seen by these two latest arrests.

Many national governments worldwide, including France and Korea, have voiced concerns about the illegitimate uses of cryptocurrencies and even enacted regulations to try and curb it.

While digital currencies have now been brought into the forefront of finance, the anonymity of the technology is clearly still being used for criminal activities.