Two brothers manipulated Ethereum protocols to steal $25M — Justice Dept

U.S. officials said the individuals engaged in a "first-of-its-kind manipulation of the Ethereum blockchain" by tampering with its protocols over validating transactions.

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Authorities with the United States Department of Justice have unsealed an indictment alleging that two individuals stole $25 million in cryptocurrency in a scheme that “exploit[ed] the very integrity of the Ethereum blockchain.”

In a May 15 notice, the Justice Department charged brothers Anton Peraire-Bueno and James Pepaire-Bueno with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to U.S. officials, the brothers fraudulently obtained $25 million worth of crypto “within approximately 12 seconds” using a scheme that “calls the very integrity of the blockchain into question.”

“These brothers allegedly committed a first-of-its-kind manipulation of the Ethereum blockchain by fraudulently gaining access to pending transactions, altering the movement of the electronic currency, and ultimately stealing $25 million in cryptocurrency from their victims,” said Thomas Fattorusso, a special agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation’s New York Field Office.

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