NW Ohio DOJ makes nearly $20 million profit on forfeited BitCoin

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Department of Justice’s Northern District of Ohio made some serious cash off digital currency forfeited after the arrest and conviction of Mark Alex Simon, Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced Thursday.

Simon, 37, of Toledo, was previously sentenced to 24 months in prison for Transferring False Identification Documents or Authentication Features and Conspiracy to Launder Money following an earlier guilty plea.

According to court documents, Simon produced and sold false identification documents; to include false identification documents which appeared to be driver’s licenses and personal identification cards issued by the states of Ohio, Michigan, and Utah. Individuals seeking to purchase these false identification documents that the defendant produced would order the documents from Simon’s website.

The purchaser sent a digital photo and biographical information for the false identification documents. The purchasers would pay for the false identification documents and shipping in bitcoin.

The defendant produced the false identification documents, which were then mailed to the purchasers using the U.S. mail bearing prepaid express mail stamps, with false return addresses in the Toledo area.

Bitcoin seized during the investigation, initially valued at approximately $2,877,351.39, increased in value dramatically when forfeited and later sold by the United States. Simon agreed to the forfeiture in connection with the guilty plea. The net return from the sale of the bitcoin was $19,227,204.64, which is the largest net forfeiture in Northern District of Ohio’s history.

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