This prosecutor is biting his fingers – The Swedish government had to return 33 criminally-derived bitcoins (BTC) to a drug dealer because the prosecution did not anticipate the spike in BTC’s price in its seizure request to the court.
BTC crime: a lesson in cryptographic law
Thestory goes back two years. Swedish authorities had seized 36 BTC from illegal transactions belonging to a drug dealer. Prosecutor Tove Kullberg asked the court to dispose of the illegally obtained tokens, or more precisely, their equivalent in fiat currency. Bitcoin was trading at about $3,700 at the time. The total BTCs were therefore worth approximately $136,000.
When the drug dealer was released, the State went ahead and sold all of his BTC, except that the prosecution had asked the Court to forfeit $136,000 in BTC, which is equivalent to only 3 BTC as of August 20, 2021 – 1 BTC was worth $48,978. The prosecutor had not anticipated the rise in Bitcoin’s price over the years:
“The lesson to be learned from this is to keep the value in bitcoin, that the profit from the crime should be 36 bitcoins, regardless of the value of bitcoin at that time.”
As a result, the government had to return the remaining 33 BTC worth more than $1.6 million, despite their illicit origin.
Illicit activity, money laundering and image to launder
Is Bitcoin really the preferred currency for delinquents and criminals to carry out their illegal activities and launder their ill-gotten funds? Silk Road has blackened Bitcoin’s image, and this bad crypto image still lingers in many minds.
Nevertheless, thestudy conducted by the Crypto Council for Innovation and supported by Michael Morell, former CIA director, shows that Bitcoin is used in less than 0.5% of illicit transactions. Cryptocurrencies are still in fact the most common way for criminals to operate and launder their money.
For prosecutor Tove Kullberg, the outcome of this case is “unfortunate in many ways. But the story is also a testament to the performance of a bitcoin that is currently continuing its journey towards 6 figures after <a href=”https://journalducoin.com/actualites/bitcoin-50000-dollars-yeux-roi-cryptomonnaies/” target=”_self” rel=”noopener”>renewed with the $50,000.
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