$4.3 Million Worth of BTC to be Auctioned by US Marshals in November

David Hundeyin
  • Agency to hold sealed bid auction for approximately 660 BTC on Monday November 5
  • Auction is part of the US Marshalls contribution to the Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture Program

The United States Marshals Service has issued a Notice for Sale for an online auction of $4.3 million worth of bitcoin planned for November 5, 2018. The notice also outlines the instructions and requirements for participating in the bid.

Auction Registration and Bidding

The sealed bid auction is for approximately 660 BTC, with a required deposit for participation set at $200,000 per bid. The bitcoin funds were seized under asset forfeiture frameworks in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases including the Thomas Mario Costanzo case, the Loui Ong case and the Anton Peck case among others.

It is separated into Series A (6 blocks of 100 Bitcoins) and Series B (1 block of 60.xxxx Bitcoins). Bidders will not have the opportunity to view other bids. They will also not have the opportunity to change their bids once submitted. Participants are required to register for the bid beforehand, and registration takes place between Monday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 31.

Bidders are not eligible to submit a bid or otherwise participate in the auction unless they have submitted all required documents and have received confirmation from the USMS that they are an eligible for bidding. Participants who wish to have the ability to bid multiple prices on multiple blocks will need to submit additional registration forms and additional deposit funds.

The online auction period is slated for Monday, November 5, 2018, from 8:00 AM EST to 2:00 PM EST. Only eligible registered bidders who have received an official Bid Form from the USMS may participate in the online auction. Bids received before or after the online auction period will not be considered. Bids that do not conform to the instructions will not be considered.

Asset Forfeiture Program

The Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program, established in 1984, is a key component of the federal government’s law enforcement efforts to combat major criminal activity by disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises, depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity, deterring crime and restoring property to victims. The US Marshals Service is one of a number of government agencies integrated with the program.

The International Business Times  reported that the U.S. Marshals Service’s contribution to the Asset Forfeiture Program accounts for a total value of assets of $1.8 billion as at Sept. 30, 2017, with the amount distributed to victims of crime and claimants at $144.7 million and the amount shared with participating state and local law enforcement agencies at $332.5 million.

The U.S. Marshals Service plays a pivotal role in identifying and evaluating assets that represent the proceeds of crime as well as efficiently managing and selling assets seized and forfeited by Department of Justice. Proceeds generated from asset sales are used to operate the program, compensate victims and support various law enforcement efforts.

The agency manages the distribution of proceeds and payments to victims of crime and other innocent third parties, all of which helps to mitigate the financial damage inflicted by criminal activity.