Illustration from Freepik

€25 million (around $30 million) in BTC and BCH have been confiscated by German authorities from an alleged programmer behind pirated film library movie2k.to, the Dresden Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release on Tuesday.

According to the announcement, accused of being one of the two main operators of the site, the unnamed programmer forfeited his BTC to Dresden prosecutors, and agreed to assist in the ongoing investigation into the illegal streaming platform. While the site’s programmer has been in police custody since November 2019, its second operator has remained at large, with prosecutors still looking for information that might help with his capture.

It is alleged that the illegal streaming site was able to distribute more than 880,000 pirated films between 2008 and 2013. After running for 5 years, the site’s business was interrupted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which sued.

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Around 2012, the two main operators started using the profits from advertising and subscription fees on movie2k.to to buy large amounts of BTC. The operators then started their 22,000 bitcoins to acquire various properties through a Berlin real estate firm, whose broker is currently under suspicion of commercial money laundering.

In order to trace and identify the associated BTC, the German Federal Criminal Police Office carried out a joint investigation with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). During his interrogation, the programmer voluntarily forfeited his BTC, which will be used as damage reparations by the public prosecutor’s office.

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