50-year-old Theresa Tetley, a.k.a the “Bitcoin Maven,” was pulling down more than $300,000 a year operating an illegal, unregistered, multi-million dollar online business that exchanged Bitcoin for cash. In June, she pled guilty to multiple federal money laundering and fraud charges and had to forfeit 40 Bitcoin (BTC) among other assets.
In August, Thomas Mario Costanzo went down on similar money laundering charges, receiving a 41-month prison sentence and an order to forfeit 81 Bitcoin. When feds arrested Costanzo, that BTC was worth $107,000. Now, it’s worth over $600,000.
Next month, you can bid on all that BTC and more in a government auction. In November, the U.S. Marshals will auction off $4.3 million worth of BTC seized from people like Tetley, Costanzo and others.
U.S. Marshals To Host Sealed-Bid Auction for 660 Bitcoin (BTC)
Auctions for assets seized in the course of criminal investigations are commonplace around the country. But November’s sealed-bid auction for 660 BTC will be just the third time the federal government has auctioned off digital assets.
And while it’s the smallest of those three, the U.S. Marshals still have an incredible amount to offload; some $4.3 million, in fact. All told, the federally seized Bitcoin comes from 31 different cases and asset forfeitures. There are several DEA administrative forfeitures, indicating that the Bitcoin was involved in laundering illegal drug proceeds.
There are also FBI administrative forfeitures, which indicate the BTC could have been used in any number of fraud or money laundering schemes. And then there are about eight cryptocurrency forfeitures from named defendants in criminal, civil and administrative cases.
Here’s How To Place Your Bid on 660 Bitcoin
On November 4, 2018, all of it will be up for auction. But to get in on the action, you’ll need to be able to put down a $200,000 USD deposit by the registration deadline of October 31.
The bidding will take place in two series and seven blocks. Series A will have 6 blocks of 100 Bitcoins—about $640,500 USD each. And Series B will have just one block of the 60-plus remaining BTC—worth about $384,000 USD. Furthermore, the sealed-bid process means bidders will have just one shot to bid on each block. And they won’t be able to view other bids or modify their own once submitted.