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Gone in 12 Seconds: Two MIT-Educated Brothers Arrested for Alleged Lightning-Fast $25,000,000 Crypto Exploit

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Two US brothers who attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been arrested for allegedly partaking in a high-speed multimillion-dollar crypto heist.

According to a new press release by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the brothers – Anton Peraire-Bueno, 24, of Boston, and James Pepaire-Bueno, 28, of New York – have been attained with three charges related to the alleged theft of $25 million from the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain in just 12 seconds.

The DOJ says that the brothers used their expertise in mathematics and computer science to create a first-of-its-kind exploit that manipulated the way Ethereum validated transactions, allowing them to steal crypto assets that were pending in private transactions.

The brothers are accused of using the exploit for months and then concealing their identities as well as obfuscating the digital assets they allegedly stole.

As stated by Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) New York Field Office, in the press release,

“These brothers allegedly committed a first-of-its-kind manipulation of the Ethereum blockchain by fraudulently gaining access to pending transactions, altering the movement of the electronic currency, and ultimately stealing $25 million in cryptocurrency from their victims.

In this case, IRS-CI New York’s Cyber Unit simply followed the money. Regardless of the complexity of the case, we continue to lead the effort in financial criminal investigations with cutting-edge technology and good-ole-fashioned investigative work, on and off the blockchain.”

The brothers have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering and face a maximum penalty of two decades behind bars if convicted.

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