Daily fraud update: 3rd March

Chris Lee

Crypto investor’s attacker sent to jail

A man who carried out an assault against a famous cryptocurrency YouTuber has been sentenced to a decade in prison.

The man, who is 50 years old, appeared before a court in the South Korean capital city of Seoul charged with assaulting Kyu-hoon “Spunky” Hwang.

The man was accused of attacking the YouTuber’s head with a bar made out of iron.

He was also alleged to have handcuffed Kyu-hoon Hwang to a rail inside a lift in the block of flats in which the latter lived.

Now, however, the man has been imprisoned for 10 years.

It is believed that the motivation for the attack was the attempted theft of a USB stick flash drive belonging to Kyu-hoon Hwang, which the attacker wanted to procure.

According to press reports, there is also another alleged attacker involved.

This attacker is now due to go on trial, although had previously escaped to Australia.

Treasury intervenes in case involving alleged crypto fraud

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control revealed today that it had issued sanctions against a group of people who allegedly laundered cryptocurrency.

Two people, who are Chinese nationals, received the sanctions over claims that they were at least partly responsible for laundering thieved cryptocurrency back in 2018.

The case in question was a cybercrime attack focused on a crypto exchange.

Responsibility for the attack has been ascribed to Lazarus Group, an organisation which is associated with North Korea.

The two people to have been sanctioned are Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong.

According to a statement from the Treasury Department, the pair were punished because they allegedly “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, a malicious cyber-enabled activity.”

“Tian and Li are also being designated for having materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Lazarus Group”, it added.

It is understood that the pair are accused of having laundered money in various ways, including through the use of iTunes gift cards.

In a sign that the case could have geopolitical ramifications, the press statement from the Treasury also included a comment from a very senior politician in the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Steven T. Mnuchin, who is the US Secretary of the Treasury, a role roughly equivalent to Finance Minister in other countries, was quoted as saying that the US would take action against actors associated with North Korea.

“The North Korean regime has continued its widespread campaign of extensive cyber-attacks on financial institutions to steal funds”, he said.

“The United States will continue to protect the global financial system by holding accountable those who help North Korea engage in cyber-crime”, he added.

The Treasury confirmed that it had worked alongside the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia as part of the investigation.

Chris Lee

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