National Federal Cryptocurrency Defense Lawyer
A cryptocurrency or “crypto” is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, a process in which transactions are hidden by codes. People are interested in cryptocurrency because of its privacy and security features, but crypto might not be as hidden as people think.
Flagged for Suspicious Activity While Using Bitcoin? Call Diane C. Bass!
Still, people may believe cryptocurrency is “safe” from government interference or manipulation – and that their transactions are invisible and “untouchable.” As a result, many people are charged with cryptocurrency crimes.
Cybercriminals may use phishing, scamming, hacking, fraud, or other tools to obtain digital currencies, and drug dealers and other criminals may use cryptocurrency for money laundering and other nefarious purposes. Even though cryptocurrencies have less “traditional regulatory enforcement,” crypto platforms and the federal government can still detect criminal activity – particularly in large strings of illicit transactions.
Cryptocurrency crime is a federal offense, and if you are under investigation, you need a federal cryptocurrency defense lawyer. Based in Irvine, California, Attorney Diane C. Bass is here for you.
Call Attorney Bass before speaking to authorities – get in touch at (949) 264-0696 today.
How Does Cryptocurrency Work?
Think of cryptocurrency as a much larger version of the token you buy to play video games at an arcade. You must use real money to purchase crypto, and then you can use your currency to purchase items from companies that accept the currency. Because the price of crypto varies, you can also trade cryptocurrency on certain exchanges.
Take, for example, the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. You can buy Bitcoin and use it to buy certain goods and services from companies that accept it, including Whole Foods, Starbucks, Microsoft, and PayPal. If you purchase $20 worth of bitcoin, however, the value of your currency may go up or down. At times when your Bitcoin is especially valuable, you might sell it to get $30 or use $20 worth of Bitcoin to make a $30-purchase, thus making a profit. If your Bitcoin is worth less, you might hold onto it for longer.
In this way, buying Bitcoin is like investing in the stock market. The only major difference is that you do not have to withdraw your investment from Bitcoin for it to be valid as currency at certain companies. It’s kind of like you’re using a Wall Street investment to pay for your latte in the morning. Cryptocurrency could be especially useful if you, for whatever reason, did not want that latte to show up on your bank statement.
Transactions that use crypto are encoded via cryptography, which makes it easy to see where bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies go but harder to see where they come from. That being said, codes can be solved, and funds can be traced all the way back to a coin’s inception – especially once a cryptocurrency user has multiple transactions.
Cryptocurrency can be tempting for people who are using the currency for illicit transactions, but transactions are usually more transparent than they seem. This is especially true when there is “suspicious activity.”
If you are ever flagged for suspicious activity while using Bitcoin or another crypto, call a federal cryptocurrency defense attorney right away.
Cryptocurrency and Cyber Crimes
Unfortunately, cryptocurrency is a hotbed for scams, fraud, and other forms of theft. According to CNBC, scams make up more than half of all cryptocurrency-related crimes. Fraudsters and scammers may trick investors into purchasing fake cryptocurrencies or “coins” that are not accepted anywhere – or pose as customer support specialists to gain crypto investors’ financial information.
Ponzi schemes where new investors do not receive a return on their investment are also extremely popular. Some people use computer viruses to gain information or even use victims’ computers to profit off of cryptos without their permission (this is known as coin mining).
The Rise of Ransomware
In the world of cryptocurrency, ransomware incidents have increased by 311% year over year. Ransomware allows hackers to “kidnap” important information or disable servers at major companies. The hackers will give the information back or fix the systems they broke in exchange for a ransom, which they frequently collect via cryptocurrency.
Federal agencies are cracking down on ransomware, hacking, and scams, so if you find out you are under investigation, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Money Laundering with Cryptocurrency
Some people use cryptocurrency to finance illicit activities, such as drug dealing and terrorism. Cryptocurrency is an accepted form of payment on dark-net sites that sell drugs and weapons, and in its early days, Bitcoin especially was widely associated with the Silk Road.
People can also use cryptocurrency to get rid of “dirty” money, or money that is linked to crimes, by investing in Bitcoin or another crypto and selling the “coin” shortly after. In all the encryption, the money will become harder to trace or “clean,” hence the name money laundering.
While occasional Bitcoin purchases may be anonymous, more and more people have Bitcoin “wallets,” and transactions now appear on pubic blockchains. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) decides to investigate your cryptocurrency transactions, no amount of code can get you out of trouble.
Instead, you need an experienced legal team to protect your rights and fight for your best interests.
Meet Diane C. Bass
At the Law Office of Diane C. Bass, A Professional Law Corporation, our founding attorney has over 25 years of legal experience in federal criminal defense. Attorney Bass has an exceptional reputation amongst her clients and peers and handled significant cases in California and beyond.
Meet Diane C. Bass and tell us about your situation – call us at (949) 264-0696 or contact us online to schedule your case review and find out how our team can help you!