Mr. Zhong made his big mistake on Dec. 16, 2020, according to court records and an analysis of his bitcoin transactions by Elliptic. He combined crypto funds the IRS had linked to the Silk Road thefts with legitimate funds he kept in a cryptocurrency exchange.
With Mr. Zhong’s Silk Road link in hand, authorities went to the bitcoin exchange that handled the transaction. The exchange gave IRS agents an IP address, 184.108.40.206, and Mr. Zhong’s internet service provider confirmed that he had been using that address since 2016. A month later, federal agents searched Mr. Zhong’s house and found the digital storage devices that helped clinch the investigation.
The government seized more than 50,000 bitcoins from Mr. Zhong, which at the time were worth $3.36 billion. A DOJ spokesman declined to comment on the case.
Source: The U.S. Cracked a $3.4 Billion Crypto Heist—and Bitcoin’s Anonymity – WSJ