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DoJ, SEC, CFTC outline strategies to curb digital currency crime

Top government attorneys from leading regulatory agencies have outlined their plans to curb digital currency-related crime. At a recent industry event, they mentioned targeting gatekeepers like audit firms and attorneys as one of their top strategies.

Officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DoJ), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) were among those present at the American Bar Association’s Annual Institute on White-Collar Crime in Miami. According to a Law360 report, curbing digital currency crime was high on the list of topics the officials talked about. Each agency outlined what it has been doing in this regard, its achievements so far, and what it has in store for the future.

For the DoJ, prosecuting those implicated in white-collar crimes was a priority, senior official Nicholas McQuaid told the attendees. The departments are also intending to expand their use of data-based probes in cases relating to digital currencies.

In addition, the DoJ has partnered with the FBI to form a specialized group within the latter to aid in the department’s investigations relating to digital currencies.

The CFTC has stepped up its game in going after digital currency-related criminals, acting director of enforcement Vincent McGonagle told the attendees. “In the digital asset space, we’ve brought several actions against entities where they’re offering digital assets, Bitcoin or others on a margin or finance basis,” he commented.

However, the director believes there’s much more to be done, especially in the budding decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

The SEC was represented by Gurbir Grewal, its enforcement director. He was adamant that the agency will continue to crack down on those that break the law under the guise of Bitcoin. The focus will be on gatekeepers whom Grewal believes have been critical in facilitating digital currency crime.

“…we’ll be taking a hard look at gatekeepers like auditors and audit firms, attorneys, and underwriters,” he stated.



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