Grant West, a 26-year-old cyber-fraudster will be sentenced by a British court on May 25th for stealing $700,000 worth Bitcoin from cyber-crime activities in 2015. The amount was seized by Scotland Yard.
West, who was using the code name “Courvoisier” used to send emails and phish people into revealing information, including passwords and credit card information. West would later proceed to sell the data to vendors on hidden websites known as the Dark/Deep Web, an online place where a person’s identity can be hidden. He then proceeded to convert his earnings into Bitcoin and stored it across several virtual currency accounts.
His crimes also included hacking into websites of companies like Sainsbury’s, Uber, etc. After gaining access to their websites, he would then obtain personal information of customers for companies. Companies like Just Eat was the most affected as nearly 200,000 clients personal information was stolen. The activities were carried out from June to December of 2015.
Grant West was arrested on a train last year by an undercover British cop. His arrest was a milestone for Scotland Yard. The 26-year-old was the first cybercriminal taken into custody and around $700,000 was seized. Investigators were able to seize West’s Bitcoin accounts because he was logged onto his laptop when he was arrested on the train. Police took his laptop and found his encrypted access codes were saved on his computer.
He pleaded for guilty in December of last year. His girlfriend Rachael Brooks an accomplice was sentenced to two years community service.
Mick Gallangher, one of the investigators under the police team says:
“These people generally feel they can operate with impunity, that they can’t be touched. We have now debunked that.”
Alex Lakatos, a lawyer says:
“When it comes to transcations on the Dark Web, (people) nearly universally use cryptocurrency. The use of virtual currency for illict purposes has been a huge success.”
Sharon Cohen, an authority on money-laundering says:
“There is not a necessarily any place for example that ypu can subponea to find information about Bitcoin-related activity.”