Tuesday, May 21, 2024

US brothers apprehended for pilfering $25 million worth of cryptocurrency in under a minute

Brothers Charged with Stealing $25m in Cryptocurrency in 12 Seconds

The cryptocurrency world was rocked by a daring heist that saw two brothers, Anton Peraire-Bueno, 24, and James Peraire-Bueno, 28, charged with stealing $25 million in Ethereum cryptocurrency in just 12 seconds. The US Department of Justice described the alleged theft as the first of its kind, highlighting the sophisticated and rapid nature of the scheme.

The brothers, who reportedly studied at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), are accused of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the crime that took place in April 2023. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco emphasized the technologically advanced nature of the scheme, noting that the brothers utilized their specialized skills to exploit Ethereum’s transaction validation process.

Prosecutors allege that the Peraire-Bueno brothers gained unauthorized access to pending private transactions and altered them to obtain cryptocurrency from unsuspecting victims. This process, dubbed “the Exploit,” was executed within a matter of seconds, showcasing the brothers’ expertise and planning. When approached by Ethereum representatives, the brothers reportedly refused to return the stolen funds and took steps to launder and conceal their ill-gotten gains.

US Attorney Damian Williams raised concerns about the integrity of the blockchain, the public ledger that records cryptocurrency transactions, stating that the defendants’ actions called it into question. The brothers now face serious consequences, with the possibility of over 20 years in prison if found guilty. This case marks the first time such a novel form of fraud has been subject to criminal charges, underscoring the evolving challenges in the cryptocurrency space.

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