Manhattan D.A.’s Office Seizes Scam Cryptocurrency Recovery Site

June 7, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the Office’s seizure of the website domain for Coin Dispute Network, a fraudulent cryptocurrency recovery company exposed during an investigation that has identified multiple victims in Manhattan and dozens more across the country. The seizure of the domain for Coin Dispute Network marks the first time a cryptocurrency recovery site, which have increased in popularity in recent years, has been taken down by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

“Thanks to the expertise of our prosecutors, investigators and specialized cryptocurrency analysts, we were able to take this fraudulent website off-line as we continue to actively investigate,” said D.A. Bragg. “Our Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau is committed to protecting victims from cryptocurrency scams in Manhattan, a global financial center. We want victims of the Coin Dispute Network – no matter where you are – to come forward as we work to hold these bad actors accountable and prevent future fraud.”

Coin Dispute Network, a cryptocurrency asset recovery business, purported to act as a tracing and recovery service for people whose cryptocurrency was stolen in exchange for a fee. Instead, as the D.A.’s Office alleged when seeking the court-authorized warrant to seize the website, the company not only kept the fee but extracted additional Ethereum from their customers by making false promises of asset recovery and generated inaccurate blockchain tracing reports to victims.

The website now displays a notice alerting potential victims about the site’s seizure pursuant to a court order. The criminal investigation, which began in November 2022, is continuing.

In 2022, the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau used its blockchain analysis expertise to locate and seize more than $1.3 million of stolen cryptocurrency.

If you believe you are a victim of any cryptocurrency-related scams, report them to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Helpline at 212-335-9600.

Tips to Spot Cryptocurrency Recovery Scams

It may be tempting to use a service to try to get money back when it has been lost or stolen. Fraudulent asset recovery companies reach out to victims of scams to try and take even more money from vulnerable targets. This is called double victimization. Some companies may impersonate an organization to try to convince you that it can recover lost cryptocurrency. Remember, bank employees, government officials, utility service providers, and corporation representatives will never:

  • Ask you to share personal information, including your email, passwords, or banking info before seeing fee disclosures or details on services
  • Contact you with an offer on social media
  • Ask for payment via gift card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer

This investigation is being handled by Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau Assistant D.A. Virginia Nguyen under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Alona Katz (Deputy Bureau Chief), Robert Shull (Deputy Bureau Chief), Jeremy Glickman (Bureau Chief) and Jodie Kane (Acting Chief of the Investigation Division). Cryptocurrency Analyst Kelly Kenny and Senior Rackets Investigator Ethan Zubkoff, working under the supervision of Greg Dunlavey, are assisting with the investigation. The High Technology Analysis Unit provided invaluable support during the seizure of this website. Former Assistant D.A. David Ginensky also assisted with the investigation.

D.A. Bragg also thanked Michael Grabowski and Matthew Hogan of the Connecticut State Police for their assistance.