A Russian citizen and a few of its associates have recently been charged for conspiring to meddle the US election with the help of $1 million in crypto.
It has been alleged that the convicts stole the US citizens’ identities in order to open a fake crypto account. Then they use the accounts to transfer around $1 million in crypto.
Russian Spies ‘Project Lakhta’ To Meddle US Election
The US authorities have registered a complaint against the convicts in the Eastern District of Virginia court recently.
According to the filing, a 27-year-old man named Artem Lifshits from St. Petersburg, Russia planned to meddle into the US election and for that, he started ‘Project Lakhta.’
On September 11, while quoting the statement released by the US Department of Justice, the Jr. FBI Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Alan E. Kohler, stated, “According to the complaint, the subject engaged in a wire fraud conspiracy to further Russian foreign influence efforts and to enrich himself and others.”
As per the report, Liftshits and his accomplice Anton Andreyev, Darya Aslanov and Andrii Derackh have been sanctioned by the US District court.
Elliptic Traced Transactions
DoJ released a public statement indicating that the felons used the fund, which mostly was in cryptocurrency, to promote operations of Project Lakhta.
Compare to traditional currencies, cryptos are less regulated and they have a privacy feature because of which the transaction could not be traced easily. That is the reason, the Russian citizens used digital assets in their projects.
In order to gain the access to major crypto exchanges, the spies used the stolen identities of US citizens.
A blockchain analytics firm Elliptic has recently traced the transaction of cryptocurrencies that were used in the operation. During the investigation, it found that the convicts had transferred around $1 million in the year 2017.