The Department of Justice (DOJ) has formed a new team to help conduct investigations and prosecute crimes associated with virtual currency exchanges, money laundering and other cryptocurrency cases.
“Today we are launching the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) to 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” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement published Wednesday.
“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,” Monaco added.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite will supervise NCET, which will include attorneys from DOJ criminal division’s money laundering and asset recovery section, computer crime and intellectual property section and assistant U.S. attorneys and will help trace and recover assets as a result of fraud, including payments to ransomware threat actors.
The NCET leader will be chosen based on experience in criminal investigations and cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies and will report to the assistant attorney general.
The newly established team will come up with strategic priorities for cryptocurrency-related investigations, build up and maintain relationships with federal, local, state and international law enforcement agencies, help coordinate information sharing and train federal prosecutors in developing prosecutorial and investigative strategies, among other functions.