Movie Piracy Investigation Leads New Zealand Police to Seize $4.2 Million in Cryptocurrency

  • Police state that Jaron David McIvor has been laundering money through his PayPal and bank accounts, thanks to his online streaming movie website.
  • McIvor’s attorney states that the client is denying these allegations.

Cryptocurrency has dealt with many different scams, but one recent issue arose in a separate arrest in New Zealand. The national police force reportedly seized a total of NZ$6.2 million and NZ$6.7 million in cryptocurrency. The seizure came as a result of a local man who is believed to have been involved in online movie piracy, performed in the United States.

Based on the police report, the New Zealand police restrained about NZ$6.7 million at 5:00am local time on November 23rd. There was another NZ$1.1 million in bank funds, based on the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act, which were allegedly confiscated by Jaron David McIvor, a 31-year old software programmer.

An hour after this interaction, a press statement was released by authorities that claimed that the authorities had seized $6.2 million in cryptocurrency, plus $800,000 in bank funds over the summer, though they did not name the suspect. Another $472,000 in cryptocurrency and $377,000 in bank funds from in November from an associate.

A high court judge is part of the CPRA process, required to decide if the wealth and benefits accrued by an individual has been done through criminal activity. If the processes confirm this method, then the assets related to the alleged criminal activities can be frozen and confiscated.

For this case specifically, the local police believe that McIvor is participating in money laundering, since he helped to create an illegal movie-streaming website that has seen the inflow of millions of dollars. Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Kay stated that he and his team received a tip from the IRS, which had been tipped off by suspicious activity reports from PayPal. This path eventually led the tax officials with the Asset Recovery Unit in Waikato to McIvor, who was located in New Zealand.

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, the police stated that McIvor’s streaming site had brought him about $2 million, which went into his bank accounts after processing through PayPal, Stripe, and international wire transfers. Kay added:

“Introducing illicitly-obtained funds into New Zealand constitutes money laundering and police will thoroughly investigate and restrain the assets of those who undertake such activity […] regardless of where in the world the crime is committed.”

The lawyer handling McIvor’s case, Truc Tran, stated that his client is presently denying allegations against him for money laundering, but no other details have been released.

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