County of New Jersey profits by 250 percent from cryptocurrency seizures in 2018.

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During a cocaine bust in Long Branch in 2018, county police seized the cryptocurrency.

A New Jersey county has announced the liquidation of cryptocurrency properties confiscated in 2018.

On Monday, the prosecutor’s office in Monmouth County announced that the confiscated crypto —initially valued at $57,000 at the time it was seized — was liquidated on Coinbase for $198,237 at a quote “profit” of $141,000.

During a cocaine bust in Long Branch in 2018, authorities seized the cryptocurrency. The funds were frozen on a cryptocurrency exchange in the United States after authorities determined they were proceeds from illicit drug trafficking.

According to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni, the county is the first at the state level to complete the seizure and liquidation of cryptocurrency properties. “This will serve as an effective template for state law enforcement agencies in the cryptocurrency market — a place where we can expect criminal proceeds to continue to be hidden,” he said.

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The prosecutor’s office did not clarify which cryptocurrencies were confiscated. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) have seen massive gains since 2018, with Bitcoin surging to nearly $65,000 in 2021 from a low of $3,200 in December 2018. On April 28, Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, surpassed $2,700 for the first time in history. In late 2018, the altcoin was selling for less than $100.

Bitcoin price all-time chart. Source: CoinGecko

Prosecutors in Monmouth noted another cryptocurrency seizure from 2017. During a theft investigation that resulted in the arrest of 16 people, the authorities confiscated about $200,000 in crypto assets. According to the office, “the value of that cryptocurrency is now estimated to be more than $1.25 million.”

As previously noted, cryptocurrency companies have routinely aided government departments in the management of stolen crypto properties. Last week, BitGo, a large cryptocurrency firm, revealed that it would handle and store confiscated cryptocurrencies for the US Marshals Service. Chainalysis, a global crypto analytics agency, unveiled a programme in late 2020 to assist officials in tracking, custody, and selling crypto connected with a crime following its capture.

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