Canadian drug dealer ordered to forfeit $1.9 million in Bitcoin

A Canadian drug dealer has been ordered to forfeit $1.9 million in Bitcoin after evidence was found suggesting the crypto was used for crime

A Canadian drug dealer has been ordered to forfeit $1.9 million in Bitcoin earned through criminal activities, according to the Toronto Star.

It is believed this is Canada’s largest forfeiture of Bitcoin.

Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly has ordered the forfeiture of 281.41 Bitcoins to the Ministry of the Attorney General after hearing expert evidence earlier this year.

The evidence details how Matthew Phan (30) used the Bitcoin to buy a gun and illegal narcotics on the dark web.

Phan pleaded guilty in December of attempting to import a gun alongside possessing cocaine, PCP, and ketamine for the purpose of trafficking.

During a forfeiture hearing in February, Crown Attorney Erin Pancer argued that given clear evidence Phan had used Bitcoin to finance his criminal activities, the Bitcoin should therefore be seized.

Phan had attempted to appeal the forfeiture, arguing not all of the Bitcoin had been used for illegal purposes and that some of them were used to buy and sell gold.

He also claimed he was selling the crypto itself on various exchange platforms.

Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly has reportedly said there is no doubt that at some point Phan was trading crypto.

However, she ruled: “There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that Mr Phan was using the dark markets to purchase illegal items such as firearms and silencers.

“It is clear from the evidence found during searches, particularly of his condominium unit, that he was conducting large sales of illegal narcotics.”

The judge concluded that the crypto had been obtained through criminal activities and as a result ordered that they be forfeited.

Interested in reading more crypto crime-related news? Discover how elite cops from Europe, Canada, and the US joined forces to crack down on dark web crooks.


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