Bitcoins: The US Department of Justice has recovered more than $154 million in bitcoins allegedly stolen from a Sony subsidiary in Japan. statement released on Monday (20).
According to the lawsuit filed in San Diego (USA), Rei Ishii, an employee of Sony Life Insurance Company Ltd, forged transaction instructions during the banking operation, diverting the funds to an account under his control at a bank in California. He then converted the amount into bitcoins, adding it to his cryptocurrency wallet.
In addition to embezzling the money, the accused allegedly blackmailed his supervisor and some executives at the Tokyo-based company. Ishii sent an email to superiors, telling them not to assist in the action led by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In the document, the employee said that the company would not be able to recover the amounts if there was collaboration with American agents. On the other hand, the accused offered an agreement to refund the amount, if the executives negotiated directly with him, without the involvement of third parties.
According to the American agency, the seizure of the stolen cryptocurrency was only possible thanks to the quick contact between Sony and Citibank with law enforcement authorities after the robbery, in May, and their cooperation with the investigations. The FBI traced the money to Ishii’s digital wallet, confiscated and will return to the company the 3,879 bitcoins, currently valued at $180 million.
The operation, which ended with the arrest of the accused by the Japanese police, was considered an example for crimes involving cryptocurrencies. “Criminals should take note: you cannot rely on cryptocurrency to hide your ill-gotten gains from the authorities,” warned Acting Attorney General Randy Grossman.