Hacker hid Bitcoin worth $3.3 billion in popcorn tin, caught after a decade in 2nd largest crypto recovery

A hacker hid a huge stash of Bitcoin in various devices at his home, include a tin of popcorn, the US Department of Justice said, referring to a recovery that took place last year. This seizure is the second largest financial seizure ever, US authorities said, and as of last November, it was the largest cryptocurrency seizure in the history of the US Department of Justice.

James Zhong, who hid over 50,676 Bitcoin at his Georgia home, pleaded guilty of unlawfully obtaining them from a dark web internet marketplace called Silk Road in 2012. While officials fpund the Bitcoin at his home last November, it was exactly a year later that Zhong pled guilty.

“For almost ten years, the whereabouts of this massive chunk of missing Bitcoin had ballooned into an over $3.3 billion mystery… This case shows that we won’t stop following the money, no matter how expertly hidden, even to a circuit board in the bottom of a popcorn tin,” said US Attorney Damian Williams.

At the man’s home, officials found Bitcoin hidden in an underground floor safe and on a single-board computer that was submerged under blankets in a popcorn tin stored in a bathroom closet.

In or around March 2022, Zhong began voluntarily surrendering to the government additional Bitcoin that he had access to. In total, he voluntarily surrendered 1,004.14621836 additional Bitcoin, the Justice Department said.