A new report shows that the Fresno Division of U.S. District Court for Eastern District of California had concluded a 14-month civil forfeiture case to seize cryptocurrency millions, a Lambo and other assets from Alexandre Cazes.
The report released on September 6, indicates that Cazes, a Canadian national had committed suicide in Thai prison by hanging himself last summer. This happened days after being arrested on suspicion of running AlphaBay, a darknet marketplace.
The death prevented the dead dark web kingpin from standing trial. He is alleged to have facilitated and profited from the sales of illegal goods and services to customers in the U.S. and overseas on AlphaBay. The darknet marketplace was shut down after his arrest in what was a dramatic incidence outside his primary residence.
In January of this year, Nicholas Phirippidis played the arrest video at the International Conference on Cyber Security which shows officials from the Royal Thai Police, D.E.A, and F.B.I crash a squad car into the front gate of Cazes’ mansion in Bangkok. This lured him out before he could encrypt or erase digital evidence that was connected to the crimes.
This tactic worked as the evidence they sought was found in an open laptop inside the residence. It included administrative accounts that were logged on AlphaBay forums and servers and also text files of password credentials for the website and its hosting service.
There was also a separate document that had records of Cazes’ black market fortune which was assessed at $23 million. It included real estate holdings, large sums of money, and expensive cars which he had managed to amass through commissions charged on AlphaBay transactions.
Cazes had more than $8.8 million in different crypto coins including 1,605.05 BTC, 8,309.27 ETH, 3,691.98 Zcash and an unknown amount of Monero. Together with his wife Sunisa Thapsuwan, a Thai citizen, they liquidated the funds in bank accounts they had registered in Thailand, Caribbean, and Switzerland.
At the time of his arrest he had $770,000 in cash, four luxury vehicles including and $900,000 2013 Lamborghini Aventador with a vanity license plate “TOR” (a reference to the privacy-enhancing internet browser). The cars together with the real estate property he owned were collectively valued at $12 million.
Cazes was 26 at the time of his death.
What’s your take on the US court seizing cryptocurrency millions from the dead darknet kingpin? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.