Federal prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of more than 500 Bitcoin (BTC) (worth about about $5.5 mln) seized during the investigation of a group producing fake identity documents, according to the Ohio Department of Justice’s March 1 news release.
A federal grand jury has indicted four people from Ohio for producing and transferring fake driver’s licenses and ID cards from different states across the US.
Along with the BTC, prosecutors are also asking for the forfeiture of more than $8,000 in cash, as well as gold and silver coins and bars equal to around $265,000. If the prosecutors win the case, then the BTC, along with the other listed assets, will be seized by the government.
The US government has previously sold confiscated Bitcoin following criminal convictions. The US Marshals Service has periodically held auctions for seized crypto assets, selling 3,813 bitcoins in January of this year.
The proceeds from selling the 144,336 BTC forfeited from Ross Ulbricht after his conviction for founding and running the now-defunct online black marketplace Silk Road, were equal to around $48 mln, an average of $334 per Bitcoin. If the government had sold the BTC today, they would have made over $1.5 bln.
Government auctions of seized crypto assets are not limited to the United States. Last year, the Ukrainian government partnered with Bitfury Group to create a transparent platform for cryptocurrency auctions.