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The Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act, which was legislated in 2009 in New Zealand, has resurfaced in the news recently as the country’s authorities have been relying on it in an international operation with a crypto twist.
As part of a joint operation, in the United States, the police has seized an estimated $6.7 million in cryptocurrency and $1.1 million in bank funds from a man after months of investigations of online movie piracy. Jaron David Mclvor, a software programmer, was living with a relative at the time of the arrest, who later was interrogated by tax officials.
Mclvor handed codes to the police authorities that uncovered over $6 million worth of cryptocurrencies. Under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act, Mclvor was charged with money laundering and had to give up the money after receiving it from an unauthorized movie streaming website of which he was the creator. Mclvor’s lawyer claims that his client has denied all allegations of money laundering.
High Court judge will now decide whether the digital assets seized will return to New Zealand authorities through criminal trial of Mclvor or a settlement agreement with the prosecutes. Detective Sergeant Keith Kay said that they have been investigating the case after receiving a tip from United States’ Inland Revenue Services.
The financial records that the police obtained showed that Mclvor had received $2 million from an illegal streaming website. The amount was then allegedly deposited in his bank accounts from PayPal and Stripe. Detective Kay claims that since copyright infringement is a crime in the United States the act of receiving money in New Zealand from the website is categorized as money laundering and is the basis for the digital assets being restrained.
The $6 Million in Cryptocurrency Surprise
Mclvor had previously invested in the cryptocurrency market and frequently bought and sold virtual assets. Initially when Mclvor began receiving restraining orders from the police in June, he had about $800,000 in various bank accounts. Later detectives discovered that the total amount in cryptocurrency he has was worth a whopping $6.2 million. Total bank funds and cryptocurrency amount could reach $7.2 million.
The seized cryptocurrency is currently under the possession of the Official Assignee, and it’s expected to be sold as per High Court orders, according to Detective Kay. Over the past few months, police authorities have actively started cracking down on cases involving fraud or tax evasion.
Many similar cases have resurfaced as New Zealand’s police exercises the Criminal Proceeds recovery Act. In another case, almost $70 million in bank accounts in New Zealand had been frozen as part of international investigation related to a Chinese businessman who has been accused of running a pyramid scheme from Canada.