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Major Crypto Scams Exposed: $25 Million Ethereum Theft and Canadian ‘Crypto King’ Arrest

2 mins
Updated by Lynn Wang
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In Brief

  • DOJ arrests Massachusetts brothers for stealing $25 million from Ethereum.
  • Anton and James Peraire-Bueno used advanced skills to exploit the blockchain.
  • Despite efforts to hide, foreign authorities froze $3 million of the stolen fund.
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the arrest of Anton and James Peraire-Bueno. These Massachusetts-based brothers allegedly stole $25 million from the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain in just approximately 12 seconds.

They face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Each charge could lead to a 20-year prison sentence.

Unveiling the Intricate Scheme Behind the $25 Million Ethereum Heist

Anton and James exploited Ethereum’s transaction validation process with a new, complex method. Their scheme has successfully manipulated the Ethereum blockchain’s protocols to intercept and alter pending transactions. They could do this thanks to their advanced mathematics and computer science knowledge, developed at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

During the investigations, authorities discovered that the brothers planned their heist over several months. They studied victims’ trading patterns and hid their identities well.

Read more: Crypto Scam Projects: How To Spot Fake Tokens

Furthermore, the brothers had searched online for tips on executing their scheme and avoiding detection. They even looked up legal advice on crypto crimes.

Authorities also discovered that they used shell companies and multiple crypto addresses. Following the theft, they laundered the stolen cryptocurrency through a complex web of transactions to obscure the funds’ origin.

Despite their efforts, foreign law enforcement managed to freeze approximately $3 million of their gains. However, Anton and James converted the remaining funds into DAI, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, to complicate recovery efforts further.

In response to this case, US Attorney Damian Williams shared his commitment to keeping a safe environment in the crypto space.

“But as the Indictment makes clear, no matter how sophisticated the fraud or how new the techniques used to accomplish it, the career prosecutors of this Office will be relentless in pursuing people who attack the integrity of all financial systems,” Attorney Williams said.

As a result of the Peraire-Bueno brothers’ moves, each must post a $250,000 bond with two co-signers by May 29. Additionally, they cannot trade in cryptocurrency, securities, or commodities.

In a related development, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in Canada arrested Aiden Pleterski, a self-proclaimed “Crypto King,” on fraud and money laundering charges. Pleterski allegedly misappropriated millions from investors, spending them on luxury items rather than investing in digital assets as promised.

During the 2021 and early 2022 crypto boom, Pleterski convinced investors to invest in his company, AP Private Equity Limited. He received CAD 41.5 million ($30.5 million) from there.

At that time, he promised to invest the proceeds on behalf of the investors in crypto and forex markets. However, bankruptcy proceedings showed he only invested a small portion, with just CAD 3.15 million ($2.31 million) recoverable.

Read more: Crypto Project Security: A Guide to Early Threat Detection

The court has set his bail at CAD 100,000, signed by his parents. He must also surrender his passport and refrain from posting about financial matters on social media. Ultimately, he is barred from trading cryptocurrencies.

This high-profile case shows how cryptocurrency draws in both legitimate investors and opportunistic fraudsters. Yet, the DOJ and other regulatory bodies are actively working to protect the public from these schemes.

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Lynn Wang
Lynn Wang is a seasoned journalist and content creator with over eight years of experience in digital marketing and cryptocurrency journalism. Her expertise lies in SEO strategy, blockchain technology, and Web3, where she has consistently delivered impactful content initiatives and engaged audiences effectively. Since January 2022, Lynn has been at the forefront of content and community efforts for BeInCrypto Indonesia. Under her leadership, the platform has witnessed remarkable growth,...