Tether and DOJ Freeze $200M, Targeting Crime Network
In a recent development, Tether, the company associated with the USDT stablecoin, has made headlines by taking proactive measures involving the freezing of approximately $200 million worth of stablecoins.
This decision comes as part of their cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The move involves freezing around $225 million in USDT funds from specific Southeast Asian wallets believed to be linked with online romance scams commonly referred to as “pig-butchering.” These scams involve perpetrators establishing fraudulent relationships with unsuspecting individuals, gradually gaining their trust, and eventually convincing them to invest in cryptocurrency platforms controlled by the scammers. Once significant sums are invested, the fraudsters abscond with the funds.
The term “pig” is used by these scammers to denote their victims, as they employ intricate narratives to emotionally manipulate individuals into believing they share a genuine connection.
Tether, in collaboration with OKX, has joined efforts with the DOJ to freeze funds associated with an international network involved in these alleged scams, believed to be connected to human trafficking activities.
CEO Paolo Ardoino remarked, “Our recent collaboration with the Department of Justice is a testament to our commitment to establishing a secure environment. We strongly advocate the use of technology and partnerships, such as our collaboration with OKX, to proactively combat illicit activities and uphold the highest standards of integrity within the industry.”
All frozen funds were reportedly held in external self-custodied wallets, as disclosed in the announcement.