National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET)

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National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET)
Founded 2021
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Products Investigation of criminal misuse of cryptocurrency

The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) was created in the U.S. in 2021 to tackle complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency, particularly crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors. Under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., the NCET combines the expertise of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and other sections in the division, with experts detailed from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. The team will also assist in tracing and recovery of assets lost to fraud and extortion, including cryptocurrency payments to ransomware groups.

The head of the NCET reports to the Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the DOJ and will be selected after an application process. The Team Leader will lead the team of attorneys from MLARS, CCIPS, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys detailed from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country to pursue cases against cryptocurrency exchanges, infrastructure providers, and other entities that are enabling the misuse of cryptocurrency and related products to commit or facilitate criminal activity.

The NCET will draw and build on the Criminal Division's expertise to deter, disrupt, investigate, and prosecute the criminal misuse of cryptocurrency, as well as to recover the illegal profits from those crimes whenever possible. Because cryptocurrency is used in a wide variety of criminal activity, including as the primary demand mechanism for ransomware payments, for money laundering and the operation of illegal money services businesses, and as the preferred means of conducting exchanges on “dark markets” for illegal drugs, weapons, malware and other hacking tools, the NCET will foster the development of expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies across all aspects of the department’s work. The NCET will also play a critical support role for international, federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement authorities grappling with these new technologies and new forms of crime.[1]

History[edit]

The creation of the NCET was announced on October 6, 2021 by Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco.

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