The Texas Federal Prosecutor's Office has filed a number of criminal charges against US citizens suspected of fraud and laundering illegally obtained income through cryptocurrencies.
The multi–year investigation of Operation Crypto Runner was conducted by the offices of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Secret Service (USSS) and the Postal Inspection Service (PIS) in East Texas, a branch of the special law enforcement agency of the US Postal Service. During the operation, which "interrupted annual money laundering operations worth more than $300 million," millions of dollars in cash and cryptocurrency were confiscated.
Prosecutors allege that the suspects played a key role in an international scam, laundering money inside the United States for their foreign accomplices. Four defendants, including the alleged ringleader, 57-year-old Tulasidas Konda, have already pleaded guilty.
They laundered money received from accomplices through cryptocurrencies, using bank accounts, electronic mailboxes and crypto wallets. We managed to launder $6 million for three. Two more are suspected of laundering $2.4 million received for scams with compromising business email and real estate fraud. But these two have not yet admitted their guilt.
Ten more suspects, allegedly members of a criminal group, are accused of fraud using telegraph and postal services. Fake technical support services were used to convince victims to send money using shell companies and commercial bank accounts created under the guise of legal entities.
The US Department of Justice reported in October that five Russian citizens and two Venezuelan citizens organized a scheme to sell oil for cryptocurrencies to the sanctioned company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).