It’s true. Bitcoin can offer some degree of anonymity. The tell has always been in the “on” and “off” ramps connected to the ledger.
These knuckleheads, as many before them, sought to utilize a system they did not understand for nefarious means. And as many before them, they were caught. Only this time, they worked for the National Guard.
Recently, five members of the District of Columbia Army National Guard were arrested for a bitcoin to credit card theft scheme. In the plot, Spcs. James Stewart and Derrick Shelton and former Sgt. Quentin Stewart allegedly used bitcoin to purchase credit card numbers. (Spc. Vincent Grant and Jamal Moody were involved too, but to a lesser extent.) Using a credit card encoding machine, they transferred the numbers to physical cards, then proceeded to make purchases. Once they racked up a good amount of illegally obtained merchandise, they started to sell their loot.
Until this point, all of this is pretty classic low-level criminal behavior. Hold on, it definitely gets better.