Oracle Employee Helped Cocaine Dealers Hide $54 Million In Crypto, DOJ Says

Brian Krewson’s Facebook photo shows him dressed as Walter White, a character in the Breaking Bad television series. Krewson has a side hustle as Mr. Poto, offering to do character parts for corporate parties.

Brian Krewson Facebook photo

By day, Brian Krewson is a technical expert at computing giant Oracle. But by night he’s Mr. Poto, a fire-breathing, stilt-walking party entertainer, happy to perform at birthdays, weddings and corporate picnics. A Facebook photo from Halloween 2020 shows Krewson dressed in full methlab attire as a remarkably convincing Walter White, the infamous drug trafficker played by Brian Cranston in Breaking Bad.

According to a Justice Department document, Krewson’s resemblance to that character extends beyond appearance. The agency alleges, in an application to force the forfeiture of the money, that Krewson was employed to help store and launder $54 million worth of cryptocurrency for two friends, Christopher Castelluzzo and Luke Atwell, who were convicted of cocaine trafficking in 2018. But Castelluzzo has claimed the crypto was acquired legitimately and Krewson has not been charged with a crime. His attorney Steve Rodemer told Forbes, “The DOJ thoroughly investigated Mr. Krewson and, aside from cooperating truthfully in future, this chapter of his life is closed.”

Before they were prosecuted and sentenced to 21 and 19 years, respectively, Atwell and Castelluzzo had run a profitable narcotics trafficking business, selling between $2.5 million and $3 million of cocaine per month. Investigators said Atwell attempted to hide millions of dollars-worth of crypto he’d acquired from dark web drug sales, mostly via the Blue Sky market, claiming some of those proceeds were used to buy 30,000 ether, worth just $9,000 at the time of its purchase but now worth above $54 million. Krewson was promised a cut for taking control of the crypto, the Justice Department claimed.

Much of the evidence that Krewson was controlling the funds came from calls that Atwell and Castelluzzo made from prison to the Oracle employee. In one call detailed by prosecutors, Castelluzzo and Krewson discussed moving the ether to Malta or the Bahamas, though they didn’t settle on a location.

In a mid-2021 call between Krewson and Atwell, who remain Facebook friends today, the former expressed concern about what would happen if law enforcement caught onto any illegal machinations, according to the prison call records. The DOJ said Krewson told his friend, “I do want to make sure that my exposure is limited in terms of, hypothetically, how much trouble a person could get in. That’s all.”

Despite giving assurances to Atwell and Castelluzzo about the security of the wallets in which the crypto was stored, Krewson provided the wallet’s password when police raided his home in July last year, allowing cops to transfer all the funds to a DOJ wallet, the court filings showed.

LinkedIn records indicate Krewson worked for Oracle as a senior technical support engineer from 2015 through to this year. The company hadn’t responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.

In December last year, Castelluzzo appealed to a Colorado court to return the funds seized during the raid on Krewson’s property, claiming they weren’t derived from criminal proceeds. He said the money belonged to him and a company called Broken Wings Holdings, which he ran with Krewson and Atwell to trade cryptocurrencies on the Bitrix exchange.

Castelluzzo wasn’t successful in convincing the court, and last week, the Department of Justice announced the seizure of the funds via its New Jersey branch.

This story has been updated to include the Justice Department document alleging Krewson’s activities and his lawyer’s statement.

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