FBI Seizes $260,000 in NFTs and Cryptocurrencies After Tip-Off By Twitter User
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has confiscated over $260,000 worth of NFTs and cryptocurrency after a tip-off by pseudonymous blockchain sleuth ZachXBT.
According to a forfeiture document published by the agency on February 4, the FBI has seized several assets from Chase Senecal, a resident of Brunswick, Maine, including 86.5678 ETH ($116,433) and two NFTs: Bored Ape Yacht Club #9658 ($95,495) and Doodle #3114 ($9,361). The agency also seized an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watch valued at $41,000.
ZachXBT, a self-described crypto sleuth, made the seizure possible after conducting a thorough investigation of Chase Senecal, also known as HZ online. "After months and months of tracking their group it’s nice to know one of the main perpetrators (Chase Senecal) for NFT/crypto phishing attacks has been identified," they said in a September 1 tweet.
The crypto sleuth traced transactions relating to numerous NFT hacks and revealed that the account used to pay for the watch was linked to the hacks. The FBI seemingly took note of his findings and seized the items weeks later on October 24, 2022.
According to a summary of the investigation, Cam (SIM swapper) sold Twitter panel access to Senecal in June last year, who used it to gain access to Twitter accounts and scam NFT holders. Senecal then used the stolen funds to purchase the AP watch which led him to get caught. The address HZ paid for the watch is tied to many Discord server attacks.
The FBI’s notice provided little additional information about the incident other than the fact that all of the estates were captured on October 24. Moreover, it is uncertain what the true extent of judicial cases against Senecal is.
Notably, the FBI has not officially credited ZachXBT for his investigation of the hacks, but the crypto sleuth said in a recent Twitter thread that his investigation led to the asset arrest. He said:
"I am very happy to share the FBI seized crypto, BAYC 9658, AP watch, and Doodle 3114 from the phishing scammer known as Horror (HZ) aka Chase Senecal as a result of my thread."
ZachXBT had previously claimed that Senecal was part of a multi-million dollar crypto scheme that has compromised more than 600 Discord servers and more than 12 Twitter accounts. Some of the accounts affected by Senecal's hacks belong to the NFT project JRNY Club and the animator DeeKay Kwon.
As reported, the FBI was also involved in the arrest of Anatoly Legkodymov, the Russian founder of Hong Kong-registered crypto exchange Bitzlato, who has been charged with processing $700 million in illicit funds.