Documents unsealed on July 17 reveal that the U.S. Secret Service performed multiple asset seizures on U.S. bank accounts controlled by Deltec Bank, a Bahamian bank with close ties to the crypto industry. Deltec is known for its ties to the Tether stablecoin, and it has also done business with FTX/Alameda.
According to the court filing, the Secret Service was authorized to seize up to $58.5 million after establishing there was probable cause for wire fraud, bank fraud, or money laundering. The affidavit describes "organized, international criminal money laundering syndicates operating cryptocurrency investment and other wire fraud scams" which allegedly fraudulently induced victims to "transfer money into shell companies, at which point the money underwent a series of transfers, generally ending overseas, designed to conceal the source, nature, ownership, and control of the funds".
The scheme reportedly involved fake crypto sites that tricked victims into depositing money under the belief that they were investing it. Like many such scams, the sites appeared to show victims' investments increasing in value, inducing them to deposit more funds. However, when they tried to withdraw, they found they could not.