The FBI plans to return $ 190 million in Bitcoin that was seized from an alleged embezzler of Sony Life

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The FBI plans to return $ 190 million in Bitcoin that was seized from an alleged embezzler of Sony Life


The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has taken legal action to obtain 3,879 bitcoin (approximately $ 190 million) – recently confiscated from an alleged embezzler – to insurance company Sony Life, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group Corporation.

According to the agency Forfeiture action Filed in the Carolina District Court on December 20, a Sony Life employee, Rei Ishii, allegedly “siphoned off $ 154 million while the company tried to transfer funds between its financial accounts” in May.

Ishii allegedly forged certain transaction instructions, which resulted in the money being transferred to his bank account in La Jolla, California. After receiving the funds, Ishii quickly used them to buy 3,879 BTC on the Coinbase crypto exchange and to transfer the coins to a cold hardware wallet, according to the complaint.

The FBI also stated that Ishii anonymously sent ransom emails to his manager (whose personal information Ishii used to set up the Coinbase account) and several other Sony Life executives in May, although it is unclear what prompted him .

“If you accept the settlement, we will refund the money,” Ishii reportedly wrote in one of the emails. In another he also threatened that “it will be impossible to get the money back if you file a criminal complaint”. But not entirely impossible for the FBI, as it turned out.

“Based on evidence uncovered during the FBI’s investigation, a seizure warrant was approved in June 2021.” This was announced by the Prosecutor of the Southern District of Carolina in a press release. “These funds were seized by law enforcement agencies on December 1, 2021.” Related Posts

As a result, Ishii has been charged with criminal charges in Japan while the bitcoin “traceable to theft” was being transferred to a wallet controlled by the FBI’s San Diego office.

“It is our intention to return the stolen money to the victim of this daring theft, and today’s action is helping us,” added acting US Attorney Randy Grossman. “This case is an example of the amazing work done by FBI agents and Japanese law enforcement agencies who have come together to track down this virtual money.”

Commenting on the investigation, he also warned that “Criminals should be taken note of:

you cannot rely on cryptocurrencies to hide your ill-gotten gains from law enforcement.”


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