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In Miami, Dark Web Trafficker Forfeits About $700,000 in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

A French national has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to using cryptocurrency to facilitate drug deals on the dark web.

Gal Vallerius was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. to 20 years in prison on Monday. The proceedings, which took place in the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse, followed Vallerius’ entry of a guilty plea on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering in June.

As part of his plea agreement, Vallerius forfeited 99.98947177 bitcoin and 121.94805811 bitcoin cash to the government. Despite their similar names, bitcoin and bitcoin cash are two separate crypocurrencies with separate values.

Collectively, Vallerius’ forfeiture is worth $712,309.94.

A press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida explains that Vallerius helped operate Dream Market, “one of the largest dark web criminal marketplaces.”

“Vallerius first participated in the conspiracy by becoming a vendor on Dream Market.  As a vendor, he sold Oxycodone and Ritalin under the moniker ‘Oxymonster,’” the press release said. “Shortly thereafter, Dream Market employed the defendant who acted at times as an administrator and senior moderator. In these positions, he played a role supporting the daily illicit transactions between buyers and vendors on Dream Market, such as trafficking in narcotics, and the laundering of illicit proceeds using virtual currencies, Dream Market’s tumblers and the dark web.”

Attorney Anthony J. Natale represented Vallerius in court, alongside fellow public defender Lauren F. Krasnoff.

“Everything which needed to be said was written in our pleadings and orally presented at the hearing,” Natale told the Daily Business Review, declining to comment further.

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Republished by the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A.

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