Brothers Rerouted $25 Million in Ethereum Transactions

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  • Two brothers have been indicted for orchestrating a $25 million crypto scam using the Ethereum blockchain
  • The indictment, revealed yesterday, charges Anton and James Peraire-Bueno with multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
  • The brothers intercepted Ethereum transactions, stealing the sum in seconds

Two brothers have been charged with multiple counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering relating to a $25 million crypto scam. The indictment, unveiled yesterday, alleges that Anton Peraire-Bueno, 24, from Boston, and James Pepaire-Bueno, 28, from New York, orchestrated a sophisticated scheme to defraud victims of the massive sum in a matter of seconds by exploiting traders using the Ethereum blockchain. The brothers also took steps to conceal their crime, showing further knowledge of the blockchain space.

Brothers Rerouted $25 Million in Transactions

The Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed that Anton and James were both well-versed in computer science and mathematics and leveraged their expertise to perpetrate a sophisticated fraud involving the Ethereum blockchain. The pair illicitly accessed pending transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, altering the transaction details to divert cryptocurrency—specifically Ethereum—into their own digital wallets.

Using this method, the brothers were able to intercept and reroute $25 million worth of ETH by changing the intended transaction paths to lead to their accounts instead.

The complexity of the scheme didn’t just stop at the theft, with the Peraire-Buenos implementing sophisticated methods to conceal their identities and the origins of the stolen funds. This included the use of shell companies and transactions across multiple private cryptocurrency addresses and foreign exchanges known for lax identity verification processes.

These tactics were designed to obscure the trail of the stolen cryptocurrency, making it difficult for investigators to trace it back to them.

Brothers Anticipated Legal Action

The pair’s meticulous planning extended to preparing for potential legal repercussions, researching legal defenses and jurisdictions with favorable extradition laws, anticipating possible legal challenges ahead. This comprehensive approach not only highlights their technical skills but also their calculated foresight in orchestrating and concealing their cybercrime.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco emphasized that the quick execution of the theft does not diminish the severity or complexity of the crime:

As alleged in today’s indictment, the Peraire-Bueno brothers stole $25 million in Ethereum cryptocurrency through a technologically sophisticated, cutting-edge scheme they plotted for months and executed in second. Unfortunately for the defendants, their alleged crimes were no match for Department of Justice prosecutors and IRS agents, who unraveled this first-of-its kind wire fraud and money laundering scheme.

The Peraire-Bueno brothers were arrested yesterday in their respective cities and are set to appear before US Magistrate Judges in Massachusetts and New York today. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each count.