Authorities arrest MIT graduates for stealing USD25M in cryptocurrencies

(MENAFN) Two brothers who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found themselves in legal trouble on Wednesday as they were arrested on charges related to an intricate scheme aimed at exploiting the Ethereum blockchain's integrity to steal USD25 million in cryptocurrency. Anton Berair-Bueno, aged 24, and James Berair-Bueno, aged 28, are accused of orchestrating what federal prosecutors in Manhattan have termed a "novel" scheme, marking the first instance of such criminal charges in the United States.

According to authorities, the brothers executed their elaborate heist in April 2023, managing to siphon off USD25 million from cryptocurrency traders within a mere 12-second window. Their modus operandi allegedly involved illicitly accessing pending transactions on the Ethereum blockchain and manipulating the movement of digital currency to their advantage. This breach raises significant concerns about the integrity of the blockchain system itself, as highlighted by US Attorney Damien Williams.

The indictment against the Berair-Bueno brothers includes charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Anton Berair-Bueno was apprehended in Boston, while his brother James Berair-Bueno was arrested in New York. As of now, their legal representatives have not issued any statements in response to the charges.

Both brothers had pursued studies at MIT, where they focused on computational science and mathematics. According to prosecutors, it was during their time at the prestigious institution that they honed the skills and acquired the education necessary to carry out their alleged fraudulent activities. This incident underscores the potential risks associated with the misuse of advanced technological knowledge, particularly within the realm of blockchain and cryptocurrency systems. 



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