Article: Why Crime Could Kill Crypto

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Why Crime Could Kill Crypto

Justin Lahart and Telis Demos, 18 June 2021

The strongest argument against cryptocurrencies used to be that they had yet to show they were much good for anything. Now the strongest argument against them may be that they have become far too good at one thing: enabling crime.

Not long after the first of the private digital currencies, bitcoin, launched in 2009, crooks recognized its appeal. While law enforcement is proving increasingly adept at tracking bitcoin transactions and at times seizing ill-gotten money, the ability to make digital payments without financial intermediaries has facilitated activities such as the selling of illegal goods and services online and money laundering. In a 2019 paper, researchers Sean Foley, Jonathan Karlsen and Tālis Putniņš estimated that 46% of bitcoin transactions conducted between January 2009 and April 2017 were for illegal activity. Continue reading “Article: Why Crime Could Kill Crypto”

Article: JBS Paid Hackers $11 Million After Hack Crippled Meat Plants

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JBS Paid Hackers $11 Million After Hack Crippled Meat Plants

Fabiana Batista and Michael Hirtzer, 10 June 2021

JBS USA said it paid $11 million in ransom to criminals responsible for the cyberattack that disrupted meat processing across North America and Australia, the latest high profile example of large corporations falling prey to extortion.

“This was a very difficult decision to make for our company and for me personally,” JBS USA Chief Executive Officer Andre Nogueira said in a statement. “However, we felt this decision had to be made to prevent any potential risk for our customers.”

The ransom payment was made in Bitcoin, according to a spokesperson for JBS Brazil. Continue reading “Article: JBS Paid Hackers $11 Million After Hack Crippled Meat Plants”

Article: JBS Offers Eateries $13M In New ‘Ice-Breaker’ Pork Settlement

Article - Media, Publications

JBS Offers Eateries $13M In New ‘Ice-Breaker’ Pork Settlement

Bryan Koenig, 16 April 2021

JBS USA Food Co. has settled with more plaintiffs in litigation accusing meat-processing giants of scheming to inflate pork prices, with commercial and institutional indirect buyers asking a Minnesota federal judge to preliminarily greenlight a $12.75 million deal.

This would be the first settlement these plaintiffs, which include a number of restaurant chains, have reached with meatpackers. JBS has already cut multimillion-dollar deals with direct buyers and consumer indirect purchasers, both of which similarly called their settlements “ice-breakers” that, like Thursday’s agreement, come with promises to help with ongoing claims against other pork producers such as Clemens, Hormel, Tyson and Smithfield.  

In their motion for preliminary approval Thursday, the commercial and institutional buyers, which include Longhorn’s Steakhouse, defined the settlement class as anyone who indirectly bought pork from the defendants “during the settlement class period for their own business use in commercial food preparation” based on a class period starting in 2009. Continue reading “Article: JBS Offers Eateries $13M In New ‘Ice-Breaker’ Pork Settlement”

Article: Guebert: ‘Price fixing’ settlements need big fix

Article - Media, Publications

Guebert: ‘Price fixing’ settlements need big fix

Alan Guebert, 04 April 2021

In a too-common story in American agriculture, Archer Daniels Midland last month agreed to pay farmers $45 million to settle what the March 13 Wall Street Journal described as “price-fixing allegations leveled at its peanut processing division.”

While $45 million is, indeed, peanuts to ADM, this isn’t the first time the Chicago-based company has faced market manipulation charges. In the late 1990s, ADM spent years and millions on criminal and civil price-fixing settlements. But ADM isn’t the only ag master of the universe to settle recent civil lawsuits over alleged market irregularities. Continue reading “Article: Guebert: ‘Price fixing’ settlements need big fix”