In brief

  • The US Secret Service has released its "Most Wanted Fugitives" list.
  • Among those listed are several whose crimes link back to crypto.

The U.S. Secret Service—which is charged with protecting U.S. political figures and conducting criminal investigations—has released a list of “Most Wanted Fugitives.” The list contains several individuals who used digital currencies for their crimes. 

Allan Garcia, a 36-year-old citizen of Costa Rica, is wanted for allegedly managing the daily operations of Liberty Reserve, a company that “operated in digital currency.” 

“The company grew into a financial hub of the cybercrime world, facilitating a broad range of online criminal activity, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography, and narcotics trafficking,” the Secret Service said. 

Danil Potekhin, from Russia, is another crypto-related criminal on the Secret Service’s list. Between June 2017 and April 2018, Potekhin and his colleague Dmitrii Karasavidi launched a phishing campaign targeting users of several digital currency exchanges. According to the Secret Service, both individuals were able to withdraw some of the victims’ holdings, and manipulate the digital currency markets. 

Closer to home, the Secret Service is chasing Rashawd Lamar Tulloch, a 33-year-old American citizen. Tulloch is accused of acting as a third-party money launderer that helped defraud victims out of millions of dollars. Specifically, Tulloch allegedly ran an operation that converted payments into Bitcoin(or cash). 

Crypto crime a growing concern

The presence of crypto-related criminals on the Secret Service’s “Most Wanted Fugitives” is an indication that crime coming from the crypto world is generating more government attention than ever before. 

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that ransomware—a crime that is commonplace in the crypto industry—would be prioritized along the same lines as terrorism. The announcement came amidst the high-profile ransomware attack that targeted the Colonial Pipeline. 

The G7 echoed the Department of Justice several days later, committing to fighting cryptocurrency-fuelled ransomware attacks.