US prosecutors move to cash in on $8.5M in seized bitcoin

US prosecutors move to cash in on $8.5M in seized bitcoin

US prosecutors move to cash in on $8.5M in seized bitcoin

This stash was worth less than $500,000 in 2016. The 513 bitcoins, and 512 of a variant called Bitcoin Cash, were seized from Aaron Shamo, the alleged ringleader of a gang that sold counterfeit pharmaceuticals made from illicit Chinese fentanyl.

FILE - This undated photo provided by the Weber County Sheriff's Office shows Aaron Shamo, 27, who was arrested at his home in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. At current prices, the bitcoins would be worth more than $8 million, while the bitcoin cash would sell for nearly $1 million.

In a court filing, prosecutors noted that due to the volatility of the Bitcoin market, both coins risk losing value.

In the meantime, the proceeds of the bitcoin sale will be distributed after a verdict is reached in the case. The cryptocurrency's price has shot up since then, rising over 1,000 percent just this year.

Federal prosecutors are quickly moving to sell millions of dollars worth of bitcoin that was seized in a large scale opioid drug operation. Bitcoin Cash, a variant created on August 1, was selling for about $1,770.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah has put in the requisite paperwork to sell the bitcoins while they're hot.

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