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US launches National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team

Kitco News

(Kitco News) The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced the launch of a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) tasked with complex crypto investigations and prosecutions.

The focus will be on virtual currency exchanges, money laundering, and mixing and tumbling services.

The goal will be "to tackle complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency, particularly crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors," according to the department's press release.

The DOJ said it must evolve as technology advances and make sure that it is ready "to root out abuse on these platforms and ensure user confidence in these systems."

The new crypto enforcement team will combine the expertise from the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), and experts from U.S. Attorneys' Offices.

The team will also be charged with helping recover stolen or lost assets, including crypto-ransomware payments.

"Today we are launching the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team 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 O. Monaco said on Wednesday.

The candidate who will head up the NCET will be an expert in criminal investigations, prosecutions, and have excellent knowledge of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.

"The head of the NCET will report to the Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division," the press release said. "The Team Leader will lead the team of attorneys from MLARS, CCIPS, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) detailed from U.S. Attorneys' Offices across the country to identify, investigate, support, and pursue cases against cryptocurrency exchanges, infrastructure providers, and other entities that are enabling the misuse of cryptocurrency and related products to commit or facilitate criminal activity."

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