FACT: Victims of crypto crime are often rejected by law enforcement and federal authorities worldwide. This is despite the fact the FBI and other law enforcement agencies worldwide actively promote consumer support.
In reality, law enforcement are understaffed and overrun with consumer cases.
They mean well and really do care, but departmental budgets and policies place a burden of responsibility to triage and prioritise other more serious crimes.
As a consequence of departmental priorities, many victims receive no support and no further communication.
There are some amazing exceptions to that rule. Like the work of a US prosecutor Erin West, a Cybercrime and Crypto Prosecutor who founded the REACT Task Force in Santa Clara County, USA, and who has been pioneering collaboration across law enforcement.
"I took a call from a smaller police agency this week. Actually, more than one, but the story is usually the same. A victim of a crypto scam had come into the department to report a theft, and the officer didn't know where to start and probably wasn't going to work the case. And in fact, had closed a number of cases just like this one."
There are positive signs from prosecutors worldwide reaching out to me on LinkedIn to join the fight to convict criminals and restore funds back to the rightful owners.
Recently, the chief prosecutor on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime for Taiwan connected to me on LinkedIn. During 2022 I worked hard to connect to hundreds of similar law enforcement operatives. This includes members of the US Secret Service (yes, really - I have shared intel with agents via LinkedIn) through to every kind of person and organisation involved in fighting cyber crime. Networking is absolutely essential to finding the right prosecutor to take on a case and give it jurisdictional priority. I prioritise use of forensic and law enforcement software that is connected to law enforcement databases and personnel as a fundamental tool for working cases and collaborating worldwide.
My aim is to step into the space within which to improve the quality and format of evidence. The aim of this work is to support prosecutors and law enforcement worldwide to accelerate the processing of cases. My aim is to make that process affordable and viable.
For this to occur, a new approach to case work has been necessary, an approach that integrates forensic accounting with documentary evidence to assist the production of affidavit warrants and subpoenas for search and seizure warrants.
I often take on difficult cases that are deemed to be of low value to law enforcement, who may see your crime as a 'consumer trade issue'. Those who are rejected by law enforcement and federal authorities. When I say 'low value', I have cases up to USD50,000,000 that law enforcement haven't given adequate priority to. That's enough money to start a war.
I take on the responsibility for diving deeper, taking more time and gathering the evidence that we need to improve the quality of the four types of evidence that assist law enforcement subpoena-warrants and court prosecution.
And of course, Expert Witness Testimony. I will use a combination of skills, including ethical hacking.
My clients often watch in real-time as I legally hack the code of a website, identify the components of the website, then track the service vendors to make complaints that can lead to shutting down the website.
EXAMPLE: Here is an ethical, legal hack of the SECURITIES COMMISSION OF THE BAHAMAS WEBSITE. This information is publicly available, if you use developer tools that test websites.
This is legal. I am not bound by department or jurisdictional rules, therefore can act much more swiftly. I don't have law enforcement authority, but I do leverage the fact that over 2.5m people read my stories on Quora. I have the means to start a viral social media campaign to publicly confront the organisations that obstruct justice. I will use consumer pressure to inspire organisations to act responsibly.
LAW ENFORCEMENT IS IMPROVING While Police and Federal Authorities mean well, and are asking victims to contact them directly, many are still turning away victims due to insufficient or disorganised evidence. In the cases where evidence is accepted, law enforcement may never be heard from again. Customer service for victims is a sorry state, to say the least. It is quite common for departmental or organisational rules to actually serve the criminal enterprise. Things like, time constraints on processing times that disallow effective evidence gathering, reluctance to collaborate or cooperate with outside parties like forensic investigators or assumptions that outdated internal processes are best practice.
While this is improving, the world is a very big place and service varies dramatically, based on varying departmental priorities, human resource capability and the quality of tools. Not all forensic tools are equal, not all training is equal and not all people are dedicated to victim resolution equally. These inconsistencies from law enforcement are very real, very present and improving very slowly. Consumer experience varies from the promoted experience.
Governments and Agencies are very good at PR and Marketing, but often the customer experience is nothing at all like the experience they are promoting.
As is the case with an Australian Financial Complaints Authority, that preaches patience, while advising my client that the case will be closed and only use old evidence.
The client has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Complaints Authority negotiated $2000 compensation from a multi billion dollar cryptocurrency exchange organisation. That level of compensation needs to made public to expose the genuine experience. That's what we are up against. Widespread apathy, and sometimes, industry collusion and even corruption. And so, one of the things that I do is get online, share the stories and attempt to bring these issues to light.
BACK TO THE FORENSIC MACHINE & EVIDENCE GATHERING Glyn MacLean.
FOUNDER | The Dark Night Online