MIT Graduates Arrested For Stealing $25 Million In Crypto In Just 12 Seconds

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are accusing two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates of pulling off a groundbreaking crypto heist. Anton and James Peraire-Bueno, aged 24 and 28 respectively, allegedly manipulated the Ethereum blockchain in a mere 12 seconds, stealing a staggering $25 million from unsuspecting traders. 

The audacious scheme, dubbed “novel” by authorities, marks the first US criminal case involving such a blockchain exploit, reported the New York Post.

“As we allege, the defendants’ scheme calls the very integrity of the blockchain into question,” US Attorney Damian Williams said.

The brothers face federal charges of hatching a plan to steal money electronically (wire fraud) and then disguise the source of those funds (money laundering). Anton Peraire-Bueno was apprehended in Boston, while James Peraire-Bueno was taken into custody in New York.

The Peraire-Bueno brothers haven’t commented on the charges yet. Prosecutors claim their MIT education in computer science and math provided the foundation for their alleged crime. The indictment accuses them of spending months devising a plan to exploit vulnerabilities in the Ethereum blockchain, the system that verifies and records cryptocurrency transactions.

Prosecutors allege the brothers found a loophole in a program called MEV-boost, commonly used by Ethereum validators to verify transactions. By exploiting this weakness, they supposedly manipulated the system and stole the cryptocurrency.  After the heist, instead of returning the funds, the brothers allegedly took steps to conceal the stolen money through money laundering.

They each face over 20 years in prison if found guilty, BBC reported.

Enable Notifications OK No thanks