The U.S. Government has recently got their hands on 500 bitcoins tied to four felons who have been charged with identity fabrication. As per the announcement, given by the Department of Justice, Ohio, three of the four convicts come from Toledo, and the other one comes from Perrysburg. They have been supposedly producing and transferring fake documents like drivers’ licenses and personal ID cards from the states of Ohio, Michigan, and Utah.
“Charged in the indictment are: Mark Alex Simon, 34; Sarah Alberts, 34; Aaron Kuns, 33, and Benjamin Stalets, 28. Alberts is from Perrysburg; the others are from Toledo.” Reads the indictment.
Gathered Information points to about 500 bitcoins in total collected by these four individuals throughout a course of five years, spanning from June 2013 to February 2018. Concerning the current Bitcoin Price Index, they have collected over $5.5 million in Bitcoins.
Now the prosecutors have requested that the accused should forfeit their bitcoin holdings. If this happens then, the U.S. government will get to add a lump sum amount of bitcoins confiscated from criminals throughout recent years.
“If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.”
Do note, that all these funds eventually gets auctioned to the public thereby increasing the potential liquidity of the market.
There are reports pointing out to an auction of more than 3800 bitcoins in January. This was the first of such sales after the 2016 event when 2700 bitcoins were put in public auctions. Also back in 2014, the U.S. Marshals Service auctioned off a whopping 50,000 bitcoins, albeit the value of bitcoins weren’t as high back then.