New US Task Force to Tackle Crypto Crime, Consumer Fraud

us task force crypto

United States President Donald Trump and the White House have issued an Executive Order to establish a task force focused on “market integrity and consumer fraud,” that also includes a focus on “digital currency fraud.” 

Under the US Department of Justice (DOJ) the Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud will “focus on cases involving fraud against the government, the financial markets, and consumers; procurement and grant fraud; securities and commodities fraud; digital currency fraud; money laundering; health care fraud; tax fraud; and other financial crimes,“ according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Rosenstein, who will also serve as the Chair of the task force, clarified that the newly formed entity will pay particular attention to deterring new crimes rather than going after already committed crimes. While the task force is designed to protect all consumers from fraud, there is an added focus on protecting service members, veterans, and the elderly, who are often the target of consumer fraud.

In addition to Rosenstein serving as Chair, the task force will also include the Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio acting as Vice Chair, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher A. Wray, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and “crypto dad” J. Christopher Giancarlo, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Jay Clayton, and many more.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, whose branch is already focused on protecting consumers from fraud in financial markets, and has taken a tough stance against cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, believes that the task force will allow the SEC to “build on the close partnerships we have with our fellow regulators and law enforcement agencies to deter and combat retail fraud.” 

The task force comes at a time when fraud and crime around the cryptocurrency industry is running rampant. Cryptojacking and crypto-related malware is at a high, with crypto related theft tripling over last year. Key task force members of the Department of Justice and Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently launched a criminal probe into Bitcoin price manipulation.