Joseph Taschetta Uncovers Massive Crypto Fraud Ring, Gets Rewarded for His Work

Joseph Taschetta has recently been dubbed the 2022 officer of the year in the Pensacola police department after discovering an international cryptocurrency fraud ring.

Joseph Taschetta Hailed as Officer of the Year

Taschetta garnered the award after someone from India called an elderly woman in the region of Pensacola and convinced her to transfer all her money into a fake bitcoin outlet. The idea was that the woman had an outstanding warrant against her and paying the money would make it go away. Discussing the case, Taschetta said:

It started with a mere $10,000, which wiped her out completely. We can trace a lot of this stuff back. I was able to trace it and found this money was moving to (crypto) exchanges and started my freeze orders.

Initially, the issue appeared to be a single standing case of crypto fraud. However, upon freezing the funds, Taschetta dug deeper and realized this was all part of a much larger scheme. He said:

I have a $10,000 victim, tracked money into this wallet, got the wallet frozen, and it turns out this wallet had half a million dollars sitting in it. I’m like, ‘That’s bizarre. I wonder how many more victims are getting scammed?’

He took the crypto address wallet the woman sent her money to and ran it through his police department’s software system. From there, he linked the address to crypto fraud that had taken place in Ohio, Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. All the victims in this case had been scammed by the exact same person. He stated:

There were multiple victims across the United States that had that same (crypto) wallet tied to this narrative that the officers put in. Then I read in each one of those reports from each of those officers and detectives that investigated those, and they inactivated the case because they didn’t understand. They didn’t know where it went.

He then turned the case over to the Secret Service as his jurisdiction was strictly within Pensacola. The agency told him all the funds taken from the victims would be returned in due time. He said:

I refer to my cases like a thread in your shirt, you know. You pull on it, you pull on it, and eventually, you’ll unravel whatever you need to unravel and it’s there, and I just keep tugging.

The FBI Ain’t the Ones for This

Initially, he had tried contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about taking the case, but it was the wrong agency for such a situation. He mentioned:

Finally, one of the other detectives is like, ‘Hey, try the Secret Service.’” I met this great contact at [the] Secret Service out of Tallahassee and he put us in contact with an agent who was able to do a seizure order, recovered the money, and dispersed it back to the victim[s].

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