US DOJ arrests brothers for stealing $25m crypto in 12 seconds

The U.S. Department of Justice has arrested two brothers for the theft of $25 million in cryptocurrency.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that Anton and James Pepaire-Bueno have been arrested for allegedly stealing millions in cryptocurrency via the Ethereum blockchain in just 12 seconds.

The brothers allegedly used the maximal extractable value (MEV) exploit to steal funds from users and are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

“The brothers, who studied computer science and mathematics at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, allegedly used their specialized skills and education to tamper with and manipulate the protocols relied upon by millions of Ethereum users across the globe,” Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement.

As noted by IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso, the brothers allegedly committed a first-of-its-kind manipulation of the Ethereum blockchain by deception. The pair gained access to pending transactions, altering the movement of electronic currency and ultimately stealing assets.

“Regardless of the complexity of the case, we continue to lead the effort in financial criminal investigations,” said Thomas Fattorusso, IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge.

Earlier this month, the DOJ selected consulting firm Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA) as Binance‘s watchdog to monitor the company’s performance for three years.

FRA is charged with enforcing the agreement’s requirements. It will have access to internal records, premises, and employees to provide the Ministry of Justice with information on the state of the exchange.

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