‘Hello Sir/Ma’am’: Person Linked to Scam Asks FBI for His Seized Cryptocurrency Back

The FBI froze cryptocurrency stored in a Binance account the agency believes is linked to a scam targeting an elderly victim. The apparent owner would like it back.
The FBI seal.
Image: Unsplash/David Trinks.

This article was produced in collaboration with Court Watch, an independent outlet that unearths overlooked court records.

A person linked to a scam that tricked an elderly victim into transferring more than $100,000 formally requested the FBI give back his seized cryptocurrency, claiming in a petition to the agency that he is a part-time crypto investor and not doing anything illegal, according to a recently filed court record. 404 Media also reached the person by email and they largely repeated the same story. 

The request is an unusual sight, and, to be frank, probably not going to work. In the court record, authorities allege that the frozen funds are linked to a scam of a victim in the U.S. The document says authorities seized just under 18,500 Tether, valued at around $18,500, in July with a federal search warrant.

“Hello Sir/Ma’am, My name is Vishal Gautam,” the request starts. “The funds which you have on hold that is a very big amount of money for me and my family, I request you to please release it from your custody. Thank You & Regards.”