US DOJ to double crypto enforcement teams to combat crimes.

US DOJ to double crypto enforcement teams to combat crimes.

The Expanding Role of the United States Department of Justice in Combatting Digital Asset Crimes

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The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking significant steps to combat virtual-asset-related crimes by expanding its digital asset crime enforcement teams. This move comes as part of a broader strategy to reduce criminal activities within the blockchain industry. In a recent speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Nicole Argentieri, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, shared the department’s plans to revamp its division and create a permanent body dedicated to cryptocurrency-related investigations.

The National Crypto Enforcement Team (NCET) Takes Center Stage

Established in 2021, the National Crypto Enforcement Team (NCET) has already made a significant impact in tackling ransomware crimes within the country. As a result, the DOJ has decided to merge the NCET with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) to enhance its capabilities and resources. This merger will enable the NCET to continue investigating and prosecuting crypto-related offenses while leveraging the larger structure and added resources of the CCIPS.

Claudia Quitoz, the acting director of the NCET, will lead the team in its new form. The former director, Eun Young Choi, will be transitioning to another position within the Justice Department. This reorganization ensures that the NCET receives maximum resources, with its prosecutors handling crypto fraud cases being placed on equal footing with those in the CCIPS. Furthermore, the number of staff members will be doubled across key areas, acknowledging the rising incidence of crypto and cyber-related offenses in several states.

The NCET: An Enormously Successful Startup

During her briefing, Argentieri praised the NCET’s accomplishments over the past two years, particularly in combating ransomware crimes. She described the team as “supercharged” in its ability to track criminals through their crypto transactions and freeze their assets before they can be moved to ransomware hotspots like Russia. The NCET has emerged as a crucial force in addressing decentralized finance theft and hacks, with notable investigations into cases involving FTX, Alameda Research, Bitzlato, and Binance.

Ari Redbord, a former federal prosecutor, emphasized the evolving nature of the blockchain industry and the need for prosecutors to adapt. He stated, “We’ve moved to a digital battlefield, where wars are fought on blockchains. The reality is if this is the future, every prosecutor, every investigator is going to need to understand these cases.” This recognition highlights the importance of continuous reforms and advancements in the DOJ’s approach to digital asset crimes.


The expansion of the DOJ’s digital asset crime enforcement teams marks a significant milestone in the fight against virtual-asset-related offenses. By merging the NCET with the CCIPS, the department is ensuring that it has the necessary resources and expertise to effectively investigate and prosecute crypto fraud cases. The success of the NCET in combating ransomware crimes demonstrates the team’s capabilities in tracking criminals and freezing their assets before they can escape justice. As the blockchain industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for prosecutors and investigators to stay updated and equipped with the knowledge needed to tackle these complex cases.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or investment advice. It is always advisable to consult with legal and financial professionals before engaging in any cryptocurrency-related activities.