The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in collaboration with Citibank, Sony, and Japanese law enforcement, has taken action to “return more than $154 million in funds that were allegedly stolen from a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.” The U.S. Department of Justice detailed: “As a result of this coordinated effort, investigators obtained the ‘private key’ … needed to access the bitcoin address.”
Citibank, Sony and FBI Help to Take Bitcoins Worth $180 Million
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week that the U.S. has “filed a civil forfeiture complaint” to “return more than $154 million in funds that were allegedly stolen from a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.”
The FBI and various Japanese law enforcement agencies investigated the case “with significant assistance from Sony and Citibank,” the announcement details, adding:
As a result of this coordinated effort, investigators obtained the ‘private key’ … needed to access the bitcoin address.
Rei Ishii, an employee of Sony Life Insurance Company Ltd. in Tokyo, allegedly “embezzled” $154 million in May and transferred the funds to an account he controlled at a bank in La Jolla, California. He then quickly converted the funds “to more than 3,879 bitcoins valued today at more than $180 million.”
This stack of BTC has a value of almost $188 Million at the current bitcoin price.
The justice department explained that “Those funds were seized by law enforcement on Dec. 1, 2021, based on the FBI’s investigation,” elaborating:
Police were able to track bitcoin transactions to identify that around 3,879.16 bitcoins representing proceeds of funds stolen from Sony Life subsidiary, had been sent to a particular bitcoin address then transferred to an offline crypto cold wallet.
“All the bitcoins traceable to the theft have been recovered and fully preserved. Ishii has been criminally charged in Japan,” the DOJ noted. “The FBI’s technical expertise was able to trace the money to the subject’s crypto wallet and seize those funds.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman opined, “It is our intent to return the stolen money to the victim of this audacious theft.”
How do you feel about the case? Please comment below.
Image creditShutterstock. Pixabay. Wiki Commons
DisclaimerThis article serves informational purposes. It does not constitute an offer, solicitation, or recommendation of products or services. Bitcoin.com doesn’t offer investment, tax or legal advice. The author and the company are not responsible for any loss or damage caused or alleged caused by the content or use of any goods, services, or information mentioned in the article.