THE DIFFICULT TRUTH.
THERE IS AN EPIDEMIC OF
Most of my clients come to me after reading reviews about me through the Quora Q&A site. This is where I have over 2 million views of my answers on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. Victims of cryptocurrency crime often relate their stories back to me, telling me how many scammers they encounter in the Cryptocurrency Recovery space.
CHARGE BACK SCHEMES ARE
Some self-appointed Crypto Recovery experts falsely claim that the Credit Card Charge Back schemes that relate to banking insurance will work on Cryptocurrency. Sadly, that is not the case. This is because, while the initial Bitcoin is typically purchased legitimately with a debit or credit card, the legitimate Bitcoin is then sent outside the legitimate exchange by the victim. No fraud occurs with the credit card purchase, and therefore; the charge back scheme is irrelevant. There is currently no banking industry style of regulation for exchanges to provide insurance and refund Bitcoin that has been sent outside the exchange, or for that matter, inside the exchange.
70% OF ALL CRYPTO CRIME IS COMMITTED BY THE
You heard that right. More than 70% of all cryptocurrency crime has occurred by either corrupt real exchanges or by criminal fake exchanges. The lines blur. There are hundreds of fake trading platforms being run by organised crime syndicates. I have been involved since the beginning of Bitcoin and have literally seen it all. Whether it is binary options, trading platforms, fake Metamask support and the list goes on and on. It's shocking.
could put you in jail.
Others suggest to use hacking schemes. These often break the law and expose the victim of a crime, to the very real risk of becoming a criminal themselves.
Victims are now being retargeted by a
Worst of all are the RE SCAMS conducted by the original scammer, who also pretends to be a recovery agent. Then there are opportunistic wannabee recovery agents, who when you look into them, couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery. It is the WILD WEST out there and there are too few trustworthy operatives out there.
There is only one true path that works.
THE LEGAL PATH.
THRESHOLD FOR BURDEN OF PROOF
A forensic Blockchain Investigation first has to prove that a monetary asset was legitimately owned and purchased by the victim, so that we can establish the a quantification of the loss. We then need to meet the threshold for burden of proof that a crime occurred. This is both a quantitative (numbers) and a qualitative (conversations) chronology and referencing process, which may include some legal hacking and investigative work to accumulate evidence.
Once we have this documented, we then combine a Blockchain Investigation report, processed either through CHAINALYSIS REACTOR or CRYSTAL (depending on the nature of the case). A TDNO Case Manager will project manage the case through remote collaboration and secure cloud based documentation and project management software portals, with a trained and certified Blockchain Investigator.
CHAINALYSIS & CRYSTAL
Much of the cost of recovery goes towards covering the cost of the expensive software subscription, which is divided across clients to amortise and reduce the cost of recovery. Chainalysis and Crystal are considered to be industry standard by most law enforcement agencies.
LAW ENFORCEMENT BEST PRACTICES
This means that when we provide a report output by the software, it is almost immediately accepted as a legitimate artefact of evidence, and trusted to meet the burden of proof that a crime has occurred.
WARRANT TO EXCHANGE FOR IDENTITY
This then goes into the hands of law enforcement, who submit an affidavit for a warrant to gain identity details under KYC, AML and CTF rules from the appropriate legitimate exchanges, through which the cryptocurrency has passed.
MAGISTRATE WARRANT FOR SEIZURE OF ASSETS
At which point, the warrant is presented to the exchange, and law enforcement now have identity details for criminal prosecution and to seize property.
PROCEEDS OF CRIME & STAKE OF CLAIM
The proceeds of crime may be held in evidence, prior to being disbursed back to victims who have staked a claim. It is important to note that it is typical for the funds to have been split across multiple identities, and so, we can expect some complexity with regards to prosecution and seizures, along with how long it can take to recover lost funds.
SLOW, BUT SURE.
The legal path is slow, but reliable. And there are no guarantees. We can however, trust the justice criminal system, law enforcement and the folk at Chainalysis and Crystal, all of which exists to serve and protect the victims of Cryptocurrency Crime.
DEDICATED CASE MANAGERS
It is the job of the Case Manager to preside over managing interactions, often over a period of months. This is possible due to the pro bono element in the work that we do, and because we work on cases on glide, in short bursts of work, over a longer period of time.
Undo the crime | Undo the time
CATCH & RELEASE
Alongside the legal path, Founder Glyn MacLean will deploy law abiding investigative and technology techniques. These proprietary techniques have been used to successfully recover funds from cryptocurrency criminals.
It goes like this.
Wire Fraud could result in a criminal conviction and 25-years in jail. Although this varies from country to country, most criminals value freedom, but take a lot of convincing that they are going to jail.
Part of the 'convincing' can involve lawful attacks on their underlying infrastructure, demonstrating that you have them dead to rights and then giving them a path to undo the crime and undo the time.
The catch and release technique has stopped criminals. Those who were opportunistic, but not career criminals or members of organised crime syndicates, where only team work with law enforcement and Interpol will get results by restricting freedom of movement and the capacity to make the proceeds of crime liquid through laundering.
Solo operator crypto criminals are typically good at IT and finance and will only continue crime if unobserved and unchallenged. When solo bad actors are caught, they may typically relent usually after a week or two of contact.
This is rare now.
The typical crypto criminal is now an organised network of IT savvy developers, who have a very high threshold for risk. They are good at marketing and they often have millions of dollars to invest in their infrastructure. I have a single client loss case of USD50 million. With that kind of money, the criminal could start a war.
It is important to understand that many smaller operations may be part of a wider network. I discovered this when I tracked a trading platform scam to St Kitts, where over a dozen scams had listed their legitimate head of operations. We are going up against very well financed, organised and dedicated criminals, who are much better than their counterparts in law enforcement.
It is possible to stay within the law, while putting pressure on these people, by undermining their infrastructure. We do this by legally hacking the code of the websites and determining all the software being used to build the platform. We are able to then approach those platforms and advise them that a breach of terms of operation has occurred, to have that component engine of the site shut down.