The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken two non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are worth more than $100,000, as well as 86.5 ether from a phishing scammer named Chase Senecal, commonly known online as Horror (HZ).
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watch, valued at $41,000, and other scammer property were “seized for federal forfeiture for violation of federal law,” according to the FBI’s formal notification released on February 3.
Apart from reporting that all of the items were taken on October 24, the FBI’s statement provided little further information about the incident. The exact NFTs in question are Bored Ape Yacht Club #9658 and Doodle #3114, and their respective market values at the time of seizure were $95,495 and $9,361.
The FBI states:
“It may occur in a civil procedure, like a lawsuit against the item, or after the conviction of an individual in a criminal trial.”
The blockchain sleuth, ZachXBT published a thorough study into the suspected scammer in question back in September. ZachXBT highlighted on Twitter on February 3 that the property confiscation did “come as a result” of his inquiry, even if the FBI has not publicly credited him.
Notably, ZachXBT was able to identify Senecal’s identity and on-chain activities during the probe due to the flashy AP watch. ZachXBT asserts that “the address HZ used to pay the watch seller $47.5k was DIRECTLY funded by multiple addresses used to scam people with hacked Twitter accounts such as @deekaymotion, @Zeneca_33, @ezu_xyz, [and] @JRNYclub.”
FBI’s Crackdown on Crypto Scammers
ZachXBT’s research has frequently aided governmental agencies. Notably after ZachXBT informed that infamous hacker group, the Lazarus group had transferred some of the money from the Harmony heist, the FBI issued an announcement in January confirming that the Lazarus Group, a North Korean hacking group, and APT38, a cyber group with North Korean affiliations, carried out the hack on Harmony in June 2022, which was targeted for about $100 million in altcoins.