US DOJ Seizes $22 Million in Bitcoin from a Man Taking Part in Ransomware Attacks
October 9, 2022
The US Department of Justice confiscated 719 bitcoins from the 35-year-old Canadian – Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins – for participating in the NetWalker ransomware attacks.
At the time of the seizure, the amount of cryptocurrency equaled nearly $22 million.
Prison Time for the Criminal
According to a recent announcement, Vachon-Desjardins was involved in a sophisticated type of ransomware known as NetWalker. The malicious software targeted victims all over the globe, including firms, emergency services, colleges, and universities. It is worth noting that the attacks’ main focus was on the healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said the wrongdoer targeted mainly rich people and high-value companies and profited from “the chaos caused by encrypting and stealing the victims’ data.”
As a result of the investigation, the US DOJ seized $742,840 in Canadian dollars and 719 BTC. At the time of the confiscation, the cryptocurrency equaled $21.8 million, while its today’s value is $14.4 million.
Additionally, the US authorities secured the man’s extradition to the States and sentenced him to spend the next 20 years in federal prison. Kenneth A. Polite, Jr believes the harsh punishment could serve as an example to those who think they can exploit victims this way.
Commenting on the matter was David Walker – Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Field Office:
“This sentencing serves as a reminder to the American public that the FBI is committed to combatting cyber threats with its world-class capabilities and enduring law enforcement partnerships. Our cyber task forces work vigorously to expose the cyber adversaries preying on United States citizens and bring them to justice.”