In a significant move to combat financial fraud in the cryptocurrency space, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has seized 18 cryptocurrency ATMs purchased with fraudulent Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. The owner of the ATMs has also been arrested and charged with fraud.
The fraudulent loans were intended to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but were instead used to purchase the cryptocurrency ATMs, which were installed in various locations across California. One such location was the popular Crypto.com Arena, which has around 3,300 official parking spots and an additional 10,000 spots in the surrounding area.
DOJ’s Efforts to Combat Financial Fraud in the Cryptocurrency Space
The seizure of the ATMs is part of the DOJ’s wider efforts to combat financial fraud and illegal activities in the cryptocurrency space. With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, the agency has warned individuals and businesses to be cautious and report any suspicious activities to the authorities.
The DOJ has identified the owner of the ATMs as Kais Mohammad, a 36-year-old resident of Irvine, California. Mohammad has been charged with bank fraud and may face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. This seizure of cryptocurrency ATMs and the arrest of the owner sends a strong message to anyone considering engaging in financial fraud or illegal activities in the cryptocurrency space.