The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday said it seized 50,676 Bitcoin in November 2021 that was stolen in the 2012 hack of the now-defunct Silk Road dark web marketplace.
The bitcoin, which was obtained in 2012 and valued at $3.36 billion when it was discovered last year, is now worth $1.04 billion.
It’s also one of the largest cryptocurrency seizures to date, followed by the confiscation of $3.36 billion worth of bitcoin earlier this February tied to the 2016 breach of the Bitfinex crypto exchange.
“Mr. Zhong executed a sophisticated scheme designed to steal bitcoin from the notorious Silk Road marketplace,” Tyler Hatcher, IRS-CI special agent in charge, said.
Zhong, according to court documents, executed a scheme in September 2012 to defraud Silk Road by creating nine fraudulent accounts on the platform and triggering over 140 transactions to plunder more than 50,000 Bitcoin before transferring the funds to a number of wallets under his control.
On top of that, Zhong received 50,000 Bitcoin Cash when bitcoin underwent a hard fork in 2017, all of which were subsequently exchanged for an additional 3,500 Bitcoin.