Cinnaminson Township Police Department

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TRM Forensics


Fraudsters posed as local law enforcement officers and extorted payments to avoid arrest


  • Proceeds traced to foreign exchange
  • Large seizure of victim funds

Recently, the Cinnaminson Township Police Department (CTPD) was able to trace a scam victim’s cryptocurrency, untangle the fraudster’s money laundering efforts, and seize the majority of funds back from a foreign cryptocurrency exchange. They did so by working collaboratively with a partner agency and embracing blockchain technology to defend local citizens from foreign scammers.

The police force serves a community of about 17,000 people just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. In August, CTPD was contacted by another agency in Burlington County, NJ to assist with a cryptocurrency related fraud investigation. The Cinnaminson investigators used TRM to track and trace the flow of funds from the victim's addresses, through a circuitous money laundering path, to the fraudster’s account at an international virtual currency exchange.

“The Cinnaminson Township Police Department is committed to protecting our citizens and residents,” Police Chief Richard Calabrase explained. “We will use the best technology we can obtain in order to stay one step ahead of criminals that would prey upon our community. A select team of our investigators are trained in the use of blockchain intelligence tools and conduct cryptocurrency related investigations for the entirety of Burlington County.”

The investigation involved a foreign-based individual posing as a US-based law enforcement officer and fake bank officials, who extorted the victim to pay him Bitcoin in order to avoid being arrested. Though the victim had done nothing wrong, they made several extortion payments under duress to the fraudsters. CTPD was able to trace the flow of those funds, identify where the funds were sent, and seize a large proportion of the funds, even though the fraud scheme had been operating for several months.

CTPD identified the fraud proceeds landed in a foreign-based cryptocurrency exchange, which CTPD contacted and served process to seize a majority of the fraud proceeds in order to return them to the victim.

“As a reminder, no legitimate law enforcement official will ever demand payment over the phone to a private account or address. These scammers are very good at adopting the nomenclature of law enforcement and taking advantage of people’s trust. If any Cinnaminson Township or Burlington County citizens are solicited for payment over the phone from purported law enforcement or other government officials, please contact our agency directly and we will handle it. Additionally, our investigators are assigned to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crimes Unit and reports can be made there as well for incidents that occur within other jurisdictions within Burlington County,” said Chief Calabrese.

TRM is proud to partner with law enforcement partners like CTPD which are helping to make the financial space safer for billions of people.

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