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MILLESTONE | Tether Freezes $225 Million in Stolen USDT Voluntarily—The Greatest USDT Freeze in History

About 225 million USDT tokens held in external self-custodied wallets connected to a global human trafficking organization in Southeast Asia have been frozen, according to a statement from Tether.

Tether claims that this was a component of an investigation conducted in conjunction with OKX, a cryptocurrency exchange, and the US Department of Justice (DOJ). According to reports, the aforementioned gang is behind a global romantic fraud involving “pig butchering.”

Additionally, the study made use of tools from Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company.

Tether claims that this action represents the largest stablecoin freeze in history.

It also shows how transparent blockchain transactions may be and how they can effectively discourage illegal activity, establishing a major industry first. Tether claims that by tracking the movement of the illegal monies through the blockchain, US law enforcement organizations—including the DOJ—were proactively notified of their whereabouts over the course of a months-long inquiry.

Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, stated, “Through proactive engagement with global law enforcement agencies and our commitment to transparency, Tether aims to set a new standard for safety within the crypto space.”

“Our commitment to creating a safe environment is demonstrated by our recent support of the Department of Justice. We think it’s important to use connections and technology, like our partnership with OKX, to stop illegal activity in its tracks and maintain the greatest levels of integrity in the business.

Law enforcement has already examined Tether, the largest stablecoin with a market valuation of $88.7 billion, as it continues to be. The New York Attorney General’s office fined it $18.5 million in 2021 for failing to disclose its assets in a transparent manner.

The disclosure from the business coincides with the ongoing investigation into the bitcoin industry by US law officials. The largest exchange in the world, Binance, was recently fined $4 billion for violating sanctions, engaging in illegal money transmission, and engaging in anti-money laundering activities.

Virtual currency exchanges and financial technology companies need to follow the rules if they want to reap the huge rewards of operating within the US financial system and providing services to US clients. And the United States government will take action if they don’t,” stated Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary.

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