Bitcoin Bribes: Chinese spies sought access to US Department of Justice investigations with good incentives in Bitcoin (BTC) (DoJ). The Department of Justice has investigated Huawei Technologies, a Shenzhen-based multinational company.
The DoJ has charged Guochun He and Zheng Wang with attempting to intimidate a member of the US government into turning over materials. The documents pertained to a probe against a significant telecom and technology company in China. Later, the Wall Street Journal verified that Huawei was involved in the case.
According to reports, the spies approached an FBI agent in 2019 and offered a reward for the required documents worth more than $60,000. Payment would be paid in Bitcoin to prevent suspicion.
The Chinese spies will now be accused of plotting to serve as an unregistered agent for a foreign state and attempting to hinder a criminal investigation.
Bitcoin bribes: Crypto used as a reward
- The DoJ asserts that the spies proposed further rewards in BTC for delivering more case material starting in September 2022. According to on-chain statistics, agents paid $20,000 in cryptocurrency the following month.
- Elliptic, a blockchain-focused business, investigated the Chinese employed the Wasabi Wallet mixing service to conceal their movements.
- The case might lead to increased restrictions on these mixing services by the US government. Tornado Cash received approval from the nation’s treasury department in August. The assertion was that different criminal and terrorist organizations were using the platform to launder money and obscure their tracks in cryptocurrency.
China vs. the United States
- Tensions between the two countries could grow even more after the recent accusation of Chinese spies. US Attorney General Merrick Garland commented on the matter, saying that the DoJ “would not accept attempts by any foreign power to subvert the rule of law that is the cornerstone of our democracy.”
- According to prosecutor Breon Peace, Chinese government intelligence agents sought to impede a case already being brought against one of China’s largest corporations.
- Through cell towers erected in the US, Huawei allegedly sent data to China. The US government’s primary worry is the company’s transmission of sensitive information pertaining to US military bases.
- In recent years, the two nations have come into conflict and dispute over several other issues, including Taiwan.
- Many worries that if these problems worsen, it could lead to a confrontation worse than the Russian-Ukrainian one. It would undoubtedly shake the bitcoin market and the entire global economy.
- Guochun He and Wang might receive penalties of 60 years and 20 years in prison, respectively, in the Huawei case.
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