US Is Pursuing Nearly $200,000 USDT From Binance That Was Part of $1 Million Pig-Butchering Scam

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jun 12, 2024 03:45 AM EDT

The US government has filed a forfeiture complaint to reclaim nearly $200,000 of tether (USDT) from Binance. This move is in response to the pig-butchering scams that have stolen over $1 million. 

US Seeks to Reclaim Nearly $200,000 of Tether (USDT) Held on Binance

Citing court documents from the District Court of Columbia, Protos reported that the USDT is associated with crimes of "wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering, and money laundering conspiracy."

An anonymous victim reported to the police of losing approximately $1.1 million to two pig-butchering scams between January 2021 and December 2022. The first scam involved a romantic relationship with a scammer named Eva Markus, whom the victim met on Facebook Dating.

Markus claimed to be an engineer and diamond mine owner who encouraged the victim to send over $400,000 for a lawyer's fee to help her return to the US after her mine allegedly exploded, which the victim did.

READ NEXT: Canada Slaps Binance With $4.38 Million Fine for Violating Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Laws


(Photo : Benjamin Nelan from Pixabay)

The Second Pig-Butchering Scam

The victim then encountered another woman on Facebook Dating and started a romantic relationship with this scammer, known as Lisa Warren, who claimed to be a crypto investor.

Warren convinced the victim to invest $55,000 in bitcoin. The victim, who was looking to recover the losses from Markus, then sold their home and sent the profits of around $600,000 in crypto to Warren as an investment.

However, after eventually recovering only $15,000 in funds and realizing they had been scammed, the victim alerted the police. In tracking the victim's funds, authorities found that funds sent to Markus had been mostly cashed out, but around half of the funds sent to Warren remained intact. 

The FBI tracked the stolen funds to a Binance account registered to Izuchukwu Henry Okolo. In November 2023, Binance froze 196,721 USDT after Okolo converted the bitcoin to USDT. Binance then alerted the FBI, which later seized the funds.

However, criminals in the pig butchering scams may be victims themselves. This was disclosed in the court documents after authorities also found Okolo's submitted claims regarding the nature of the confiscated USDT to be false.  

READ MORE: Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Apologizes, Accepts 'Full Responsibility' in Letter to Judge Ahead of Sentencing

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics