According to the Associated Press, federal authorities in Ohio seized $4.7 million in bitcoins and hardware following an investigation into a large-scale, online fake ID operation. Court documents say they also found gold and silver bars and coins inside the Toledo home of Mark Simon.
Toledo resident Mark Simon was arrested on February 8th for making and transferring falsified identification documents, after the investigation into numerous fake IDs popping up around town launched in 2015.
Ohio authorities began investigating in 2015 after receiving several fake ID cards from a bar in Springfield. Though the cryptocurrency was used to purchase the falsified identification documents, the Bitcoin transactions themselves were not actually tracked. Rather, federal investigators followed a trail of Redditors, ultimately leading to Simon.
Documents say buyers had to follow instructions to hide the transactions and use bitcoins. Bitcoin has long been unfailry criticized by bankers and legislators as a means to launder money, fund terrorists, and sell drugs. With more mainstream acceptance and law enforcement investigators becoming more and more blockchain savvy. Bitcoin uses a public ledger which can actually make illegal transactions easier to track. However, it should be noted that with second layer innovations like Lighting Network and TumbleBit it will become easier to create private Bitcoin transactions that will be very difficult to track.