Justice Department forms National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team

Department of Justice officials said the creation of a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) would draw on the agency’s cyber and money laundering expertise to address cryptocurrency platform abuse.

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Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said the unit would focus on investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency, including crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services and money laundering infrastructure participants.

“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 said.

Authorities indicated NCET responsibilities would include developing strategic priorities for investigations and prosecutions involving cryptocurrency; identifying areas for increased investigative and prosecutorial focus, including professional money; building and improving cryptocurrency relationships with prosecutors and other Department litigating components and offices to pursue cryptocurrency investigations and prosecutions; and developing and maintaining relationships with federal, state, local and international law enforcement agencies investigating and prosecuting cryptocurrency cases.

“The Criminal Division is already an established leader in investigating and prosecuting the criminal misuse of cryptocurrency,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said. “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.”