Two Chinese citizens, Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong have been charged with money laundering of $100 million worth of cryptocurrency which was allegedly stolen by North Korean actors in 2018. Alongside money laundering, they were also charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Report has it that they hacked virtual currency exchanges for the benefit of a North Korean Actor. According to a US Attorney Timothy J Shea of the District of Columbia, the crime committed by the two is a big threat to the global financial system, and IRS-CI Chief Don Fort said that North Koreans keep attaching the virtual currency system as a way to bypass the sanctions placed on it by the United States and the United National Security Council.
According to pleadings, in 2018, the North Koreans hacked into a virtual currency exchange and stole almost $250 million worth of virtual currency, which was later laundered to multiple automated crypto-transactions. The co-conspirators bypassed the KYC controls by submitting fake photographs and false identification documents. 113 virtual currency accounts used by the defendants have been identified. It was also further revealed that Tian and Li laundered virtual currency of up to $100 million by hacking virtual exchanges, and another theft of $48.5 million worth of digital currency from a Virtual currency exchange based in South Korea in 2019.