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US Attorney’s Office in Boston Files Forfeiture Action to Recover Over $2 million in Cryptocurrency Traceable to Pig Butchering Romance Scam

The US Attorney’s Office in Boston filed a civil forfeiture action to recover cryptocurrency that was allegedly to be part of the results of a “pig butchering” fraud scheme. The scheme targeted a Massachusetts resident as part of a romance scam, where the victim of the scam was tricked into investing into cryptocurrency and then giving additional funds.  

The cryptocurrency was seized from two accounts located at Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian and authorities estimate the value at approximately $2,300,000. Investigations by federal authorities allege that the accounts from which the cryptocurrency was seized had been associated with funds from 36 other victims of fraud located across the United States. 

The term “pig butchering” comes from the way that scammers fatten up their victims with potential lucrative returns before “slaughtering” them for their money. “Pig butchering” fraud schemes can start with random chats online. 

In the spring of 2023, an investigation began into a “pig butchering” fraud scheme targeting a Massachusetts resident. In a pig-butchering scheme, scammers get funds from victims using fraudulent and manipulative tactics. 

The first step in these schemes is for the scammer to gain the trust of the victim online, and then slowly get the victim to invest into a fraudulent crypto scheme. They are able to get the investor to make more payments and the “butchering” or “slaughtering” happens when funds are gone and the person realizes they have been tricked. 

“Pig butchering” fraud schemes and romance crimes are some of the most serious online crimes involving cryptocurrencies that a defendant can be accused of. Many times these crimes involve conspiracies to commit fraud and other federal crimes like wire fraud, money laundering and the crimes are punishable by severe federal sentences and substantial fines. 

If you find yourself facing federal charges for an online scam such as a Pig Butchering or Romance Scam then contact our offices today. It is important to remember that prosecutors will push for convictions and a sophisticated defense is necessary to defend these complex charges which could involve multiple people accused of different levels of complicity and access based on evidence that is technical and specialized in nature.

The attorneys at Dhar Law have experience defending those accused of these types of crimes and other crimes associated with the dark web. Please contact our experienced team of Internet Crimes Attorneys and Cryptocurrency Scam Attorneys at 617-880-6155 to learn more.


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Heading up the firm, Vikas Dhar is widely recognized as a leader in the New England legal community. An accomplished business litigator and a “Top 40 Under 40” criminal defense attorney, he has also been honored as a New England Super Lawyer/Rising Star in the area of White-Collar Criminal Defense for each of the past six years by Boston Magazine.

I have the power and the skill to be able to save people from themselves. I can be your guide during the darkness. I can hold your hand and navigate you out of the darkness into the light.

— Vikas Dhar
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