The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken two non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from a phishing scammer that were worth over $100,000 and 86.5 ether.
Chase Senecal, also known as Horror (HZ) online, is the alleged scammer who was first identified through a thorough investigation conducted and published back in September by independent blockchain sleuth ZachXBT.
Seneca’s property, which included a $41,000 Audemars Piguet (AP) Royal Oak Watch, was seized for federal forfeiture for violation of federal law, according to the FBI’s formal statement published on February 3.
The FBI’s notification did not detail much other information on the ordeal apart from noting that all of the property was seized on Oct. 24. The exact NFTs in question are Bored Ape Yacht Club #9658 and Doodle #3114, and their respective market values at the time of seizure were $9,361 and $95,495.
At the time of seizure, the 86.5 ETH were worth $116,433, but at the time of writing, they are worth $144,000.
How ZachXBT helped the FBI
At this point, it is unclear how extensive the legal actions brought against Senecal have been. Federal forfeiture, on the other hand, allows the government to “remove—without compensation for the individual—ownership of property engaged in a crime,” according to the FBI’s law enforcement bulletin.
According to the FBI,
“it may happen in a civil proceeding, such as a lawsuit against the item, or after the conviction of a person in a criminal prosecution.”
ZachXBT reported through Twitter on February 3 that the property confiscation did come as a result of his inquiry, even though the FBI has not publicly credited him.
For damaging so many individuals in this area, ZachXBT said,
“I look forward to possibly seeing other phishing criminals face a similar fate in the future.”
ZachXBT noted in a Medium article dated September 2 that after watching Horroz (HZ) bragging about the new watch online, he asked about a few mutual acquaintances who sell watches and eventually succeeded in getting in touch with the individual who sold that particular AP watch to Senecal.
Unfortunately for Senecal, it was claimed that the payment was made on the blockchain using USD Coin.