Court Approves Sale of Seized Cryptocurrency in Durtschi Case

News | June 11, 2024 By:

On Friday, May 31, 2024, the US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana granted the United States’ motion for an interlocutory sale of cryptocurrency in the case of United States v. Grant McKay Durtschi.

As part of the ongoing criminal case, approximately 124.72134086 Ethereum was seized from a virtual wallet address belonging to Durtschi. With Ethereum’s value fluctuating daily, the prosecutors filed a motion asking the court to allow the cryptocurrency to be sold before the final resolution of the case. They argued this was necessary to preserve the asset’s current worth.

In its order, the court approved the interlocutory, or interim, sale arranged between prosecutors and the defendant. The US Marshals Service will handle liquidating the Ethereum based on procedures agreed to by both parties. Once converted to cash, the net proceeds will be kept by the Marshals until further court order. Durtschi also agreed to waive any objections regarding the exchange rate or fees associated with selling the digital money.

The money from the cryptocurrency sale will then act as a “substitute asset” for the Ethereum in any potential criminal or civil forfeiture cases against Durtschi involving the same facts. Any claims to the original Ethereum or the substitute funds must be made to the court. Additionally, the Marshals will provide ongoing accounting of the asset conversion and distribution to Durtschi and his legal team.

By allowing the interlocutory sale, the court aims to preserve the current value of the seized Bitcoin for either the defendant or victims pending final judgment. The steps outlined establish procedures for ensuring the “substitute asset” of cash stands in place of the volatile cryptocurrency as the case continues.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.