The United States Department of Justice is set to expand its digital asset crime enforcement teams in the coming months as part of wider plans to reduce crimes related to virtual assets.
one in speech In a July 20 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nicole Argentieri, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, revealed the department’s plans to revitalize the division.
According to him, the National Crypto Enforcement Team (NCET) will become a permanent body within the criminal division to handle investigations related to cryptocurrencies.
The NCET, set up in 2021, has taken up high-profile investigations and will now be merged with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS).
Despite the merger, the NCET will continue to investigate and prosecute related offenses by taking advantage of the larger structure and additional resources.
,Now is the time to take NCET to the next level, merging it with (Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section) will give it the resources and runway to achieve even more.
The new arrangement will see the team have a new leader and Claudia Quitos will serve as acting director. Eun Young Choi, the former director, will move to another position in the Department of Justice, according to the briefing.
NCET as an independent entity within CCIPS will get maximum resources, with its prosecutors handling crypto fraud cases being placed at par with CCIPS.
The workforce will also double in key sectors as crypto and cyber-related crimes are on the rise in many states.
NCET is a “hugely successful startup”.
Argentieri, during his briefing, appreciated the efforts registered by NCET in the last two years to combat ransomware crimes in the country.
He added that the team is “supercharged”. To keep an eye Criminals go through their crypto transactions and freeze such assets “before they move to Russia and other ransomware hotspots”.
With Choi explaining the department’s focus on decentralized finance thefts and hacks, the NCET swung into action. Notable among the issues faced by the department is the infamous FTX scam.
team has helped bring charge The investigation involves FTX and its affiliate Alameda Research against Sam Bankman Fried.
In addition to FTX, the team was also at the forefront of the case against Hong Kong-based digital exchange Bitzlato and most recently Binance.
Ari Radbord, a former federal prosecutor, said the situation has changed over the years, so more reforms are needed on the part of prosecutors.
“I think what the DOJ has realized over the past few years is that we have moved into a digital battlefield where wars are fought on the blockchain. The reality is that if this is the future, every prosecutor, every investigator, is going to need to understand these cases.”