- US Federal Court finally sentenced James Zhong to a year’s imprisonment
- The Silk Road hacker allegedly stole $3.4 billion through over 50,000 Bitcoins
- Reports claim Zhong to have hidden assets in a popcorn tin!
Thefts and scams are not new in the crypto industry, but have you heard of a heist worth $3.4 billion? That’s James Zhong for you. The hacker not just stole over 50,000 Bitcoin but also kept it under his sleeves for 10 years before the US Court of Justice detected it.
Why Was James Zhong Accused?
On 14th April 2022, the Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York sentenced James Zhong to one year of imprisonment for stealing $3.4 billion through Bitcoin. The crime was initially detected in November 2022, and Zhong has been waiting for the sentence since then.
As bizarre as it may sound, Zhong used an array of technological tools, Bitcoin mixers and a diverse cryptocurrency exchange to give shape to one of the largest thefts in the crypto market. He was a dedicated user of the Silk Road, an infamous platform used by cyber criminals t carry out unlawful exchanges.
While Zhong walked into the Silk Road network in search of narcotics, he later used the platform to steal a whopping number of Bitcoins through wire fraud.
James Zhong Uses Bizarre Methods for the Theft
According to the US Federal Court, Zhong created multiple accounts to mask his identity and carry out the theft without detection. Zhong then deposited a small number of Bitcoins in each account and carried out multiple transactions within a few hours, making the most of the inefficiency and vulnerability of the platform. One could hardly detect the scam, and Zhong went scot-free for a decade.
However, thanks to the efficient US cyber crime cell, Zhong’s activities and theft were detected when the officials searched his residence in Georgia.
Better known as one of the most popular crypto theft giants, James Zhong probably always contemplated a search warrant, and his nightmare soon became true after the authorities detected the scam.
Now, of course, he wasn’t foolish enough to keep his Bitcoins at home and make them easily detectable. And, true enough, the officials found a single-board computer stuffed in a popcorn tin! Apart from the Bitcoins and computer rescued from Zhong’s residence, the US officials also seized his cash, assets and other precious items.
Can You Question the Efficiency of US Federal Courts?
Once the search concluded and the Bitcoins were valued, Zhong was accused of stealing Bitcoins worth $3.4 billion in November 2021. The prompt action of the US Federal Court also sends across a stern warning to cyber criminals and crypto hackers.
Thus, while James Zhong’s case might falter the trust of investors in the safety and security of the crypto market, the federal courts have proved otherwise. In fact, hackers must remember, no amount of technological tools can conceal their misdeeds for long, and the Federal courts have time and again proved this.
The US cyber cell officials have also reported several other crypto scams, making it a safer place for investors. However, is a year of imprisonment enough for the charges against Zhong? The debate continues.