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Justice Department calls for faster investigation into cryptocurrencies

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In Science and Space: The U.S. Department of Justice wants to make it simpler to imprison cryptocurrency criminals who break rules governing money transmitter licencing in addition to wanting them to serve longer prison terms.

The paper, titled “The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets,” nevertheless, included a number of specific suggestions for legislative changes to facilitate and enhance their work. Several looked to have goals that went well beyond the crypto sector, most notably one that would increase the maximum sentence for crimes involving illegal money transmission from five to ten years in prison and alter judicial procedures to better secure longer terms. In essence, they were phrased as “this would also affect crypto.”

The establishment of the Digital Asset Coordinator (DAC) Network, a team of 150 prosecutors skilled in cryptocurrencies and the operations of virtual asset service providers (VASP) like exchanges and money services businesses (MSBs) that on- and off-ramp dollars and other fiat currencies, was the big news when its crypto regulatory advisory report was released last week.

However, the Justice Department had two additional top legislative priorities. The first was a request to include VASPs under the law anti-tipoff provisions that forbid officers or agents of financial institutions from alerting consumers that they are the subject of an investigation.

It stated that this was necessary “given the expanding usage of digital assets across a wide range of illicit operations.”

Greater Limitation Period The third and final top-priority demand for congressional action is to raise the standard federal five-year statute of limitations for any offences involving the transfer of digital assets to ten years.

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Because investigations involving digital assets “pose significant challenges,” they may be “complex and lengthy in duration, in part because their cross-border nature necessitates requests for mutual legal assistance from (often several different) foreign governments, which can take years to resolve.” Additionally, it requests an extension of the statute’s three-year suspension in situations involving digital assets when foreign evidence is required.

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