The FBI wrote on its blog May 3 about a ticket selling hub that led to the uncovering of a Bitcoin laundering scheme. Charges were brought this March, and the FBI chose to recount this unique, and successful, investigation.
“The beginning of the end of an Ohio man’s venture into the murky world of cryptocurrencies can be traced back to the moment investigators linked the 29-year-old to a ticket-fraud scheme nearly 2,000 miles away in California,” they wrote on their website.
Daniel Mercede, from Chagrin Falls, used stolen credit card information to buy concert tickets and other events from a ticket seller in California. He then sold them through another ticket vendor, oftentimes for less than he paid, to profit from his ill gotten gains.
Mr. Mercede’s $420,000 in proceeds from his actions beginning 2014 were thanks to the stolen information of over 40 victims. With their identities, he applied for more than $1.5 million in loans.
Things got hairy for Mr. Mercede when the victims sought the funds back. An investigation led to Mercede. The tickets had been delivered to his home address or to his parents.
“A lot of the material that we got out of his apartment led me to believe there was something much, much greater going on here than a simple fraud,” according to Detective Sergeant Andy Capwill of the Chagrin Falls Police Department.
The Chagrin Falls Police Department found thousands of pages of evidence of money transfers, dozens of checking accounts, and a digital currency trading. “I realized I was going to need some help here,” said Capwill, who promptly asked for the FBI’s assistance. The Detective Sergeant had never heard of Bitcoin prior to the investigation.