It has been reported that New Zealand authorities have seized an approximate $7.8 New Zealand Dollars worth of illegal proceeds, in both crypto and fiat, as the result of an investigation into an illicit movie streaming service operated by local software programmer (and alleged cryptocurrency scammer) Jaron David McIvor. In addition to an unnamed associate.
In total, $7.8 million New Zealand Dollars (the equivalent of $5 million USD) were appropriated from McIvors accounts by the Waikato / Bay of Plenty Asset Recovery Unit, under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act; and on behalf of the United States government, after having been tipped off by the U.S. Inland Revenue Service about these allegedly criminal activities back in 2016.
The U.S. Inland Revenue service had originally, in turn, been informed by PayPal after having identified a series of “suspicious transactions”. According to NZ website 1 News Now (which is operated by media network TVNZ) McIvor and his associates transferred money between the U.S.A, Canada, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
This was a means of obfuscating the source of, and thus laundering, their illicit funds.
“Introducing illicitly-obtained funds into New Zealand constitutes money laundering and police will thoroughly investigate and restrain the assets of those who undertake such activity.”Keith Kay (Asset Recovery Unit, Detective Senior Sergeant)
Jarron David McIvor is under investigation for having operated a website which breached copyright law by illicitly offering streaming services for commercial films, and for a set fee from which he and his associates profited. In a way, the service could be likened to an illegal interpretation of Netflix which disregards copyright laws and licensing.
$6.7 million of these equivalent NZD funds were requisitioned from cryptocurrency accounts, whilst $1.1 million were taken from bank accounts. In total, these funds were taken from a combination of McIvor and his unnamed associate’s accounts.
Criminal proceedings are still under-way, and if found guilty: McIvor and his associates funds may be frozen or requisitioned indefinitely. Proceedings will be litigated in court, unless earlier settled.
According to the New Zealand Morning Herald, McIvor’s lawyer Truc Tran (from Hamilton) “ said his client denied the police allegations of money laundering.” – nor has McIvor yet been “criminally charged with money laundering”.
“Advances in technology, like cryptocurrency and encrypted communications have changed the way criminals acquire and hide their assets…
Seizing and removing the profits of crime is one of the most effective capabilities we have in impacting organised criminal networks…
We are honoured to have representatives from law enforcement, government departments and private enterprise from across Australia and the world coming to Brisbane to share their insights and to collaborate on how we respond to emerging technologies like cryptocurrency.”Acting Assistant Commissioner Gough (2019 National Proceeds of Crime Conference, NPOCC)
In related news: representatives from the New Zealand Police force recently attended an international conference hosted in Brisbane, Australia called the 2019 National Proceeds of Crime Conference (NPOCC). The conference took place between November 13-15th 2019, and its main theme was cryptocurrency related crimes.
NPOCC saw attendance from the likes of: Australian Taxation Office, Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, and more. In total there were over 200 Delegates in attendance.
Also related: the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) in New Zealand investigated the Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church (SISDAC) back in June. Although not directly related, the investigation reportedly unveiled reports between the church, and the notorious OneCoin scam.