30. November 2023

US Justice Dept. Doubles Crypto Team to Target Ransomware Crimes

• The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that it will double the size of its National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET).
• NCET will now be merged with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), giving them additional resources.
• The NCET team is expected to focus on combatting ransomware crimes, tracking criminals through their crypto payments, freezing, and seizing them.

US Justice Department to Double Crypto Team

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has said it will double the number of staff on its crypto crime team established in 2021. The unit will add to its number of acting prosecutors and get a new leader. On July 20, the DoJ published the remarks made by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In her speech, Argentieri announced the merger of two DoJ teams: the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). After joining CCIPS, NCET will continue its activities in investigating and prosecuting criminal offenses involving cryptocurrency abuse.

Additional Resources

Calling NCET “an enormously successful startup”, Argentieri emphasized that the merger with a larger structure would provide it with new additional resources. The number of criminal division attorneys available to work on criminal cryptocurrency matters will “more than double” as any CCIPS attorney could potentially be assigned to work an NCET case. Furthermore, NCET will also gain access to computer crime and intellectual property work.

New Acting Director

The agency will also get a new acting director: Claudia Quiroz was named as head of this team after being a former assistant attorney from U.S Attorney’s Office for Northern District California since 2021. An immediate mission for this „super-charged“ unit is focused on combatting ransomware crimes; tracking criminals through their crypto payments; freezing or seizing them “before they go to Russia or other ransomware hotspots” .

Creation Of The Agency

The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team was launched in 2021 as part of DoJ’s Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework . In May 2023 ex-Director Choi stated that department had been focusing on thefts and hacks involving decentralized finance and particularly chain bridges“.

Conclusion

After doubling their team size, increasing resources available, getting a new leader – Claudia Quiroz- ,and merging two departments -Computer Crime And Intellectual Property Section(CCIPS) &National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team(NCET)- ,the US Justice Department is set up to fight against ransomware crimes by monitoring crypto payments ,freezing or seizing them before reaching hotspots such as Russia