On Tuesday, a French administrator of a large dark web marketplace earned himself a twenty-year jail term. A U.S. court found Gal Vallerius (popularly called Oxymonster) guilty of the multiple-count charge. However, the accused had previously pleaded guilty to the charges. The court file reveals that he was accused of distributing a controlled substance and money laundering. In addition, Judge Robert N. Scola’s ruling will have the 36-year-old French national forfeit huge amounts of cryptocurrency. According to the ruling read out in the U.S. District Court in Florida, Oxymonster will have to forfeit his holding of 99.98947177 BTC and 121.94805811 BCH.
About Dream Market
Essentially, the court records note that Dream Market is a dark web marketplace, which the Tor network supports. In addition, Dream Market promotes and sells illegal items. Over time, the marketplace would grow to become one of the largest online marketplaces on the internet. To no one’s surprise, the network only accepts payment in Bitcoin (BTC) and similar peer-to-peer altcoins.
In addition, the network soared over time to become notorious for activities such as trafficking in narcotics. Dream Market also specializes in proceeds racketeering using digital currencies, its Dream Market tumblers, and the dark web. Vallerius played a prominent role in the marketplace. As a vendor, he sold Ritalin and Oxycodone using the moniker Oxymonster. Most of the time, he acted as their senior moderator and administrator. In his new position, Oxymonster ensured that there were seamless transactions between buyers and sellers on the network.
Investigation of Dream Market
When the U.S. authorities learned about the marketplace, they launched an investigation into its illicit activities. South Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force championed the probe of Dream Market’s dark web operations. Later, many law enforcement agencies in the United States and France got involved, leading to the arrest of Oxymonster.
Cryptocurrency and the Dark Web
The illegal activities on the dark web, part of the internet that is anonymous and untraceable, have increased in recent years. Indeed, this menace has become prevalent due to the advent of cryptocurrencies. Virtual currencies allow users to pay for transactions, leaving such transactions either anonymous or untraceable. This explains why many governments around the world, including the United States government, are deeply concerned about digital currencies. Over the dark web, payment of illegal activities, such as human trafficking, terrorism financing, and illicit drugs, are seamless as they require special software to intercept and decrypt the content. No doubt, Vallerius’ case is one of the hundreds if not thousands of illegal activities going on within the dark web. To fuel such transactions, the users pay with popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum (ETH).
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