- The IRS criminal investigation unit has 4 major crypto cases among its top 10 investigations in 2023, showing a focus on crypto crimes.
- OneCoin co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years for fraud related to marketing the fake cryptocurrency.
- Ian Freeman was sentenced to 8 years for laundering over $10 million in Bitcoin through BTC kiosks for darknet vendors.
The Internal Revenue Service‘s (IRS) criminal investigation unit has identified four major crypto-related cases among its top ten most high-profile investigations this year. These cases highlight the continued focus on crypto crimes by U.S. authorities.
OneCoin Co-Founder Sentenced to 20 Years
Karl Sebastian Greenwood, co-founder of the fraudulent cryptocurrency OneCoin, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2022. Greenwood was convicted for his role in marketing and selling the fake digital asset OneCoin as a legitimate cryptocurrency.
New Hampshire Man Sentenced for Bitcoin Money Laundering
Ian Freeman, a New Hampshire resident, was sentenced to 8 years in prison for operating a money laundering scheme using Bitcoin (BTC) kiosks and failing to pay taxes from 2016 to 2019. Freeman used BTC kiosks to launder over $10 million for darknet vendors.
Oyster Protocol Founder Charged With Tax Evasion
The IRS charged Amir Elmaani (aka Bruno Block), founder of Oyster Protocol, with tax evasion related to minting and selling Pearl tokens. Elmaani failed to report income from his sale of the tokens.
Silk Road Bitcoin Thief Caught After 10 Years
James Zhong was charged in 2021 for stealing Bitcoin from the Silk Road dark web marketplace in 2012. Zhong concealed his involvement for nearly 10 years before authorities found over $3 billion worth of BTC in a floor safe and popcorn tin in his home.
The cases highlight the IRS’s continued focus on investigating major crypto-related crimes and tax evasion using cryptocurrencies. As digital asset adoption increases, authorities are ramping up enforcement efforts against illegal crypto activities.