The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has seized cryptos and luxury goods worth $260,000 from NFT phishing scammer Chase Senecal, aka Horror (HZ), according to a Feb. 4 forfeiture document.
Authorities said the seized crypto assets included two NFTs — Bored Ape 9658 and Doodle 3114 — valued at $104,856 and $116,433, respectively. The federal agency also seized an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watch valued at $41,000. The operation took place in Oct. 24, 2022.
How ZachXBT Research Helped the FBI
The FBI relied on an investigation by on-chain sleuth ZachXBT to track down the scammer HZ, who was allegedly responsible for numerous attacks on several NFT projects. These include Nouns DAO, JRNY Club, to name a few.
The scammer carried out his attack with a Twitter panel he acquired from another scammer Cameron Redman.
Besides that, HZ and other scammers also targeted the Discord servers of several projects such as Anata, Lacoste, BAYC Otherside, 333 Club, among others.
ZachXBT tracked HZ after he posted an iced-out Audemars Piguet Watch on Twitter. ZachXBT’s research uncovered an address related to the scammer while revealing that he paid $47,500 for the watch.
On Feb. 3, ZachXBT said he was “very happy” that his investigation aided the authorities.
Authorities Step Up Crypto Policing
US federal agencies, like the FBI, have recently increased their scrutiny of the crypto space. In January 2023 alone, the authorities have made progress on their investigations into Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed crypto empire and Mango Markets’ hacker Avraham Eisenberg.
Recently, CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam promised to bring more enforcement actions against non-compliant crypto projects. This echoes sentiments held by its sister agency, the SEC, which has repeatedly urged crypto firms to register with it and is in an ongoing lawsuit against Ripple.
The Rise of Fake NFT Project
Another crypto investigator Coffezilla revealed that he paid MMA fighter Dillon Danis $1,000 to promote a fake NFT project. Danis did not tell his followers that he was paid for the promotion, nor did he carry out any due diligence on the project.
Coffezilla said Danis “posted [a] copy that literally spells out S.C.A.M.,” adding that “the entire project is fake.”
BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.