- The Department of Justice is set to return funds stolen from a Sony subsidiary in Japan.
- An employee of the company had diverted $154 million to buy Bitcoin.
- All the Bitcoins were confiscated following an investigation led by the FBI.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is on the course of returning about 3,879 Bitcoin bought with funds siphoned from Sony Life Insurance Company Ltd in Tokyo, according to a new report on Tuesday.
DOJ to return 3,879 Bitcoin to Sony
The Sony subsidiary reportedly tried to move funds between its accounts back in May. In the process, one of the employees named Rei Ishii diverted about $154 million to a bank account he owned in California. Ishii allegedly used the stolen funds to purchase 3,879 Bitcoin, currently an equivalent of over $187 million.
Ishii is currently facing criminal charges in Japan, and all the Bitcoin has been confiscated following a joint investigation by the FBI, Japanese law enforcement, Sony, and Citibank. According to the report, the FBI was able to obtain the private key to the wallet containing the Bitcoins.
“It is our intent to return the stolen money to the victim of this audacious theft, and today’s action helps us do that,” said acting US attorney Randy Grossman.
The Department of Justice has since strengthened its surveillance on the cryptocurrency sector, which has helped them bring many cyber-criminals to book. Two months ago, the DOJ unsealed charges against six men who allegedly used digital currencies to launder money for drug cartels in Mexico. The DOJ had also pronounced charges against the founders of AirBit Club, which was tagged a crypto scam.
Following a five-point plan by the US government to combat terrorism, a new task force was formed under the Justice Department to detain and prosecute individuals suspected of being involved in illicit activities using cryptocurrency.