Delaware Online reports that in-state federal authorities have aided the British police in taking down a notorious crypto cybercriminal. The hacker is a British citizen named Grant West, who is said to have illicitly acquired millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin stored in accounts across the world. Due to the growing number of internet asset seizures, expert analysts suspect that the US government now controls more Bitcoin than any other entity in the world.
Delaware has historically served as the central location for government seizures of criminal funds, as it is where most banks keep their central servers. We are now seeing this trend extend even into the world of cryptocurrency. The infamous crypto hacker Grant West is suspected to have hacked the servers of more than 100 companies across the world. He is reported to have stolen a lengthy list of sensitive materials, which he would then sell on the dark web, police report. West’s illegal activity has been tracked all the way back to 2015.
Undercover UK authorities were able to arrest West last year while he was in the first class coach of a passenger train while at his computer. It was the first successful arrest by London Metropolitan Police of a known cybercriminal. They were able to immediately seize $700,000 worth of Bitcoin.
Asset disclosure documents released this month by the US Secret Service Investigators in Delaware revealed that an additional $217,000 worth of Bitcoin in one of West’s accounts had also been seized. The funds were taken from the Delaware based servers of cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex.
The documents state that the funds were put in the custody of the United States Secret Service and then transferred to the United States Marshals Service. The current location of the funds was not disclosed in the documents.
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Special Agent Scott McDerby said in an affidavit that the Secret Service’s Asset Forfeiture Branch has been working to seize digital currency from bad actors for five years now.
The funds seized from West’s account are believed to have provided additional support for British police in West’s conviction, with sufficient evidence being provided that the Bitcoin in question was linked to wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft. West was convicted last year for conspiracy to defraud, among other charges. He is reported to have maintained a “lavish lifestyle, with international travel, expensive cars, and high-tech electronic devices.”
Delaware Online reports that the British authorities found that West was using phishing emails to lure people into revealing personal information, including passwords and credit card numbers. West would then sell the sensitive information on the dark web. His Bitcoin earnings from the transactions were stored on several virtual currency accounts across the world.
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