In recent years, a great number of solutions for tracking cryptocurrency transactions have been developed. Such tools have helped security analysts find the trail of different transactions. It allowed them to recover millions from ransomware attack paments and stolen bitcoins, convict the dark web administrators and even destroy a child abuse network. Back in 2021, the same tools led to the conviction of a 33-year-old Swedish Russian national.
According to the report, the convicted had run a program called Bitcoin fog – A Bitcoin “mixing” service on the dark internet. The goal of this program was to find where the money went. Users use this program to deposit bitcoin; in return, they take different tokens to prevent forensic accountants from finding the right Money trails.
Tracing Of Cryptocurrencies Could Be Put On Trial In A Case Involving Bitcoin Fog
The Justice Department has found that Sterlingov (accused person) has laundered money of a total amount of USD 336 Million by running an online Bitcoin Fog program.
On the contrary, Sterlingov denied all the claims for creating such a program. He says he never created any such website, nor was he the administrator. Since his California arrest, he’s been in the Virginia Jail for almost a year. A legal system that has imprisoned him despite his innocence has puzzled him.
The authorities’ investigations yielded no conclusive proof of Sterlingov’s usage of any cryptocurrency for illicit or criminal purposes. At the same time, he was arrested during his trip to the US last year. Meanwhile, several statements of facts have been related that put charges against Sterlingov.
IRS Found Various Technical Devices
The IRS has informed that they have found a collection of evidence that ties up Sterlingov with the bitcoin fog case. According to data discovered by the IRS, there is a linked account to the website, and he received monthly income from the service through 2019.
The Defence authority questioned IRS claims by asking, “ Where’s the corroborating evidence? Sterlingov’s inventory included a variety of gadgets including as hard drives, backup codes, computers, a specialized phone for storing crypto tokens, and Bitcoin debit cards.
But no strong evidence could prove that he had been part of the Bitcoin Fog case. There are no witnesses, communications, or logs. All the claims are baseless and a mere guessing game.
Sterlingov Lawyers Had Made Several Motions At The Court
Sterlingov’s Layers have filed a motion to dismiss, a motion to free all his seized assets, a motion for a bill of different particulars, and a motion to consider pretrial detention. During the inspection DOJ, jas found 3 TB of data related to the Bitcoin Fog case. However, the Defence team alleges that based on the mere data recovered, one cannot parse the information or prove a link between Sterlingov and the Bitcoin Fog case.
In places like the United Kingdom, different tracking methods have been made and used to help with cybercrime investigations. But there is a huge question about the validity of such tools. Sterlingov Case has perplexed various technologists and has created a battleground.