BREVARD SHERIFF WAYNE IVEY: I Just Love it When We Hit the Fraudsters in Their Own Pocketbooks!
By Wayne Ivey – Brevard County Sheriff // January 18, 2022
Economic Crimes Unit in partnership with U.S. Secret Service seized $645,000 in cryptocurrency
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Today’s criminals will stop at nothing in their efforts to victimize citizens as they try to take advantage of every possible tool and resource that’s out there to defraud, scam, and steal from good hard-working people and yes they even use technology.
While they do everything they can to target citizens, our agency does everything we can to target them and that includes hitting them where it hurts in the pocketbook.
As such, I am excited to share with you an incredible case that was recently made by our Economic Crimes Unit in partnership with the United States Secret Service that led to the seizure of approximately $645,000 in cryptocurrency that now belongs to the good guys so it can be returned to the victims.
The seizure, which is one of the first of its kind in the nation by local law enforcement, was made subsequent to two separate fraud investigations where local Brevard County residents were victimized by online scams.
The first case started in October of last year when the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Task Force began an investigation into a fraud case, that was reported by a Brevard County resident who had invested in a “High Yield Investment Program” on Instagram that ended up being a massive scam.
According to the victim, they were promised a return of over 50% if they invested in the program that had all appearances of being a legitimate investment opportunity.
As a result of the investigation, a Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent who is assigned to the United States Secret Service Task Force was able to track down the money which had been placed into four different Cryptocurrency wallets that collectively contained over $276,000.
The Agent also discovered five additional victims during the course of the investigation that had also been victimized in the fraudulent scam. The content of the four cryptocurrency wallets was subsequently seized as illegal gains and is now in the possession of law enforcement.
A second similar investigation began in November of 2021 when another Brevard resident reported being the victim of a fraudulent “Microsoft Refund” scam.
During the victimization, the suspects gained access to the victim’s computer and bank accounts, which they, in turn, stole from to open Cryptocurrency wallets.
The victim reported a total loss of $294,000 which was tracked by our Agents to a Cryptocurrency wallet that contained over $368,000. The cryptocurrency wallet has also now been seized by our agency as proceeds from fraudulent activity.
In total, nearly $645,000 in Cryptocurrency was seized through the combined efforts of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and our federal partners with the United States Secret Service.
While the investigation is still ongoing to identify the perpetrators of the fraudulent scams, for now, our agency is excited to be able to return the victim’s money and to have kept it from the greedy little hands of the dirtbags who stole it.
I could not be more proud of our Agents for their hard work to help protect our citizens as these types of cases are a strong reminder of the importance of protecting our personal information.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and also never allow anyone access to your computer remotely, unless you are 100% certain of the person’s true identity and their intent.
Another great job by our Economic Crime Unit.
– Sheriff Wayne Ivey