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FBI Seizes $100K in NFTs from Scammer Following ZachXBT Investigation

The seized property included a Bored Ape Yacht Club and Doodles NFT, 85.6 Ether, and a showy Audemars Piguet watch, all of which assisted ZachXBT in identifying the alleged fraudster.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has seized two non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and 86.5 Ether from a phishing fraudster.

The suspected scammer in question, Chase Senecal, also known as Horror (HZ) online, was initially uncovered through a thorough investigation published in September by independent blockchain detective ZachXBT.

Seneca’s property, which included a $41,000 Audemars Piguet (AP) Royal Oak Watch, was “seized for federal forfeiture for violation of federal law,” according to an official statement published by the FBI on February 3.

In addition to mentioning that all of the goods was taken on October 24, the FBI’s statement provided few other details about the incident. Bored Ape Yacht Club#9658 and Doodle #3114 were valued at $95,495 and $9,361 respectively at the time of seizure.

The value of the 86.5 ETH at the time of seizure was $116,433, however it is now $144,000 at the time of writing.

At this point, it is unknown what the entire extent of judicial procedures against Senecal have been. However, according to the FBI’s law enforcement alert, federal forfeiture is a law enforcement tool that allows the government to “take — without compensation for the individual — ownership of property associated with a crime.”

“It may occur in a civil proceeding, such as a lawsuit against the item, or after an individual’s conviction in a criminal trial,” explains the FBI.

The property confiscation “came as a result” of ZachXBT’s inquiry, he wrote on Twitter on February 3. The FBI has not publicly acknowledged ZachXBT’s contribution to the case.

ZachXBT stated, “I hope to see more phishing scammers meet a similar fate in the future for injuring so many people in this domain.”

People in the community have joked that the FBI will change its profile image to Ape #9658 following the seizure of a Bored Ape NFT.

During the inquiry, the colourful AP watch was one of the major indicators that helped ZachXBT uncover Senecal’s identity and on-chain activity.

ZachXBT claimed in a Sept. 2 Medium post that after watching Horroz (HZ) boast about the new watch on social media, he asked “about mutual acquaintances who sell watches” and eventually made contact with the individual who sold Senecal that particular AP watch.

Unfortunately for Senecal, the transaction was reported to have occurred on the blockchain using USD Coin.

ZachXBT wrote: “The address HZ used to pay the watch seller $47.5k was DIRECTLY financed by various addresses used to swindle others with hijacked Twitter identities including @deekaymotion, @Zeneca 33, @ezu xyz, and @JRNYclub.”

This is not the first time that ZachXBT’s research has been crucial in assisting government officials. In October, France’s national cyber unit acknowledged ZachXBT’s assistance in apprehending and charging a group of alleged fraudsters suspected of stealing $2.5 million worth of NFTs through phishing scams.

 

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