Stablecoin issuer Tether said it has recently onboarded the U.S. Secret Service into its platform, and is currently in the process of doing the same for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
In a Dec. 15 letter addressed to Senator Cynthia M. Lummis and Congressman J. French Hill, Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino highlighted a wallet-freezing policy launched by the firm earlier this month, designed to enhance the tools available to law enforcement agencies when it comes to tackling the illicit use of stablecoins.
Tether Releases Letters Shared With The U.S. Senate Committee On Banking, Housing, And Urban Affairs And The U.S. House Financial Services Committee
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— Tether (@Tether_to) December 15, 2023
“Our alignment with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List is a proactive stance in security, not merely a compliance measure,” wrote Ardoino.
“Tether recently onboarded the United States Secret Service into our platform and is in the process of doing the same with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). These strategic relationships reinforce our commitment to supporting law enforcement in combating nefarious activities and contributing to the recovery of victims’ funds,” he added.
He noted that Tether had assisted the DOJ, Secret Service and FBI with freezing 326 wallets which collectively held around $435 million USDT.
The letter was a follow-up to another 31-page letter sent in November, in which Ardoino outlined the various Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) policies that the stablecoin firm had adopted.
Both letters appear to be in response to members of Congress’ concerns over the alleged use of stablecoins to finance illicit activity, including terror funding.
More than 100 members of Congress, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, signed an Oct. 17 letter to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson, urging them to act “swiftly and categorically” to curtail illicit crypto activity.
They cited a Wall Street Journal report that the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) had “primarily used the stablecoin tether” to transact, and held accounts at crypto exchange Binance. Ardoino criticized the WSJ report in an X post, saying that the source of the article was neither a Tether spokesperson nor an employee.
The person that WSJ cites in its article is not a Tether spokeperson nor works at Tether, as that person repeatedly said in her correspondence with the tabloid. Pure bullies. Not unexpected from them tho.
Bloomberg as always publishes articles based on unconfirmed information -…
— Paolo Ardoino 🍐 (@paoloardoino) September 22, 2023