As law enforcement authorities are grappling with the rise of ransomware and cryptocurrency technologies, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Manac has formed a new National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET).
The team will tackle complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency and investigate crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors.
NCET will combines it’s expertise of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recover Section (MLARS), Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), and other sections in the division, with experts detailed from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.
“[NCET] will draw on the Department’s cyber and money laundering expertise to strengthen our capacity to dismantle the financial entities that enable criminal actors to flourish — and quite frankly to profit — from abusing cryptocurrency platforms” said Deputy Attorney General Monaco in a statement. “As the technology advances, so too must the Department evolve with it so that we’re poised to root out abuse on these platforms and ensure user confidence in these systems.”
NCET will build upon MLARS’s Digital Currency Initiative and will be informed by the Department’s Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework, released in October 2020.
“The Criminal Division is already an established leader in investigating and prosecuting the criminal misuse of cryptocurrency,” said Polite in a statement. “The creation of this team will build on this leadership by combining and coordinating expertise across the Division in this continuously evolving field to investigate and prosecute the fraudulent misuse, illegal laundering, and other criminal activities involving cryptocurrencies.”
The team will not pursue its own cases but support existing and future cases brought across the Criminal Division and in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country.