Home NewsEthereum US Brothers Arrested for $25M Cryptocurrency Theft in 12 Seconds

US Brothers Arrested for $25M Cryptocurrency Theft in 12 Seconds

by Tatjana
6 minutes read

The Crime

Two brothers from the United States have been arrested for stealing $25 million in cryptocurrency. The brothers, Anton Peraire-Bueno, 24, and James Peraire-Bueno, 28, managed to carry out this theft in just 12 seconds. They are charged with wire fraud and money laundering. The US Department of Justice called this theft the first of its kind.

Who Are the Peraire-Bueno Brothers?

The Peraire-Bueno brothers studied at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Anton and James studied mathematics and computer science at MIT. They used the skills they learned at this top university to commit the crime.

How Did They Do It?

The brothers used a sophisticated and cutting-edge scheme to steal $25 million in Ethereum cryptocurrency. They planned this heist for months. Prosecutors say they used their specialized skills to exploit Ethereum’s process for validating transactions.

Role of the US Department of Justice and IRS

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco explained that agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) played a crucial role in solving this case. The IRS agents helped unravel the “first-of-its-kind wire fraud and money laundering scheme.”

The Exploit Method

The brothers referred to their theft method as “the Exploit.” They managed to gain access to private transactions that were pending on the Ethereum network. They then altered these transactions to steal the cryptocurrency. This process took only seconds to complete.

Impact on Blockchain Integrity

US Attorney Damian Williams said that this scheme questions the very integrity of the blockchain. The blockchain is a public ledger that records all crypto payments. By exploiting the Ethereum network, the brothers put the security of this technology in doubt.

Confrontation and Laundering Stolen Gains

When Ethereum representatives confronted the Peraire-Bueno brothers, the brothers refused to return the stolen funds. Instead, they took steps to hide and launder their stolen gains. Prosecutors note that this is the first time such a novel form of fraud has been criminally charged.

Legal Consequences

If found guilty, the brothers face more than 20 years in prison. This case sets a new precedent for how the law deals with sophisticated cryptocurrency theft and money laundering schemes.

How the Heist Unfolded

In April 2023, the Peraire-Bueno brothers executed their plan. They used their knowledge from MIT to manipulate the Ethereum validation process. By accessing pending private transactions, they managed to redirect $25 million worth of Ethereum to their accounts.

The Role of Technology in the Theft

The theft was possible due to the highly specialized skills that the brothers had. Their background in mathematics and computer science from MIT allowed them to understand and exploit weaknesses in the Ethereum network.

First-of-its-Kind Crime

Prosecutors call this heist a “first-of-its-kind” crime. Never before has such a technologically sophisticated method been used for wire fraud and money laundering. The use of advanced skills and the speed of the theft make this case unique.

Investigating the Theft

The IRS agents and the US Department of Justice worked together to investigate this crime. Their combined efforts helped uncover the details of the Peraire-Bueno brothers’ scheme.

Security Measures for Ethereum

This case highlights the need for better security measures in cryptocurrency networks. The Ethereum network, like other blockchain technologies, must ensure that its processes cannot be exploited in such a way.

Educational Background of the Brothers

Both brothers attended MIT, one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Their education in mathematics and computer science gave them the tools they needed to carry out this complex theft.

Importance of Blockchain Integrity

The integrity of the blockchain is crucial for the future of cryptocurrency. This case shows that even highly secure networks like Ethereum can be vulnerable to sophisticated attacks. Ensuring the safety and reliability of blockchain technology is essential for maintaining trust in the system.

Legal and Ethical Implications

The Peraire-Bueno brothers’ case raises important legal and ethical questions. How should the law handle technologically advanced crimes? What are the ethical responsibilities of individuals with specialized knowledge and skills? This case will likely influence future legal decisions and ethical discussions in the field of cryptocurrency and technology.

Future of Cryptocurrency Security

As cryptocurrency becomes more popular, the security of these networks will be increasingly important. The lessons learned from the Peraire-Bueno brothers’ case can help improve security measures and prevent future crimes.


The Peraire-Bueno brothers’ theft of $25 million in Ethereum in just 12 seconds is a landmark case in cryptocurrency crime. Their education at MIT and their specialized skills allowed them to exploit the Ethereum network in a way never seen before. The involvement of the US Department of Justice and the IRS was crucial in solving this crime. This case highlights the importance of blockchain integrity and the need for better security in cryptocurrency networks. The legal and ethical implications of this case will likely influence future decisions in the field of cryptocurrency and technology.

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