The United States today announced the takedown of a Russian-Venezuelan network that used Tether (USDT) to trade outside the traditional banking structure, thus evading international sanctions. One of the most discussed geopolitical scenarios for cryptocurrencies is their ability to evade conventional financial restrictions imposed by world powers against their adversaries—but this workaround is becoming increasingly difficult to execute. A few hours ago, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was pressing charges against five Russian and two Venezuelan nationals accused of maintaining a global network of money laundering, smuggling, and trading with sanctioned companies, particularly the Venezuelan state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). According to a press release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York filed 12 charges against Russian nationals Yury Orekhov, Svetlana Kuzurgasheva, Artem Uss, Timofey Telegin, Sergey Tulyakov, and Venezuelans Juan Fernando Serrano and Juan Carlos Soto.
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