US DoJ Appoints New Crypto Team Director, Announces FBI Crypto Unit
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced on Thursday that it had tapped Eun Young Choi to become the first Director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET).
At the same time, the US DoJ confirmed that the FBI launched its Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit, a specialized team of cryptocurrency experts “dedicated to providing analysis, support, and training across the FBI, as well as innovating its cryptocurrency tools to stay ahead of future threats.”
According to the DoJ, Choi has nearly a decade of experience within the department, as she served as Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the DoJ.
Kenneth A. Polite Jr., Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, commented on the announcement:
“With the rapid innovation of digital assets and distributed ledger technologies, we have seen a rise in their illicit use by criminals who exploit them to fuel cyberattacks and ransomware and extortion schemes; traffic in narcotics, hacking tools and illicit contraband online; commit thefts and scams, and launder the proceeds of their crimes.”
NCET Role in Crypto-Related Investigations
It’s expected that the NCET works with Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, together with the FBI and its brand-new Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit.
Through NCET, the department will identify, investigate, support, and pursue cases involving the criminal use of digital assets, focusing on exchanges of virtual currencies, mixing and tumbling services, and infrastructure providers that enable the misuse of cryptocurrency other technologies for illegal purposes.
“The NCET will set strategic priorities regarding digital asset technologies, identify areas for increased investigative and prosecutorial focus, and lead the department’s efforts to coordinate with domestic and international law enforcement partners, regulatory agencies, and private industry to combat the criminal use of digital assets,” the DoJ stated.