Bitcoin [BTC] fraudster becomes ‘one of the first people in the US to be convicted of stealing cryptocurrency’

Bitcoin’s [BTC] bullish movement on the charts made news again after the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency rose to a 4-month high. However, the positive news was accompanied by reports of nefarious activities conducted using Bitcoin, something that has been a thorn in its side for a long time.

On April 22, District Attorney of the county of Santa Clara announced that Joel Ortiz,a Boston high school valedictorian, had been convicted of stealing Bitcoin by hacking the phones of victims. The District Attorney’s official press release stated,

“Joel Ortiz, 21, stole more than $7.5 million from at least 40 victims, including two in Santa Clara County. After his thefts, Ortiz spent his loot lavishly – including $10,000 nights at Los Angeles clubs, hiring a helicopter to bring him and some friends to a music festival, and on Gucci luggage and clothing.”

The perpetrator did not appeal any of the 10 criminal charges levied against him as Judge Edward Lee made his decision based on the accounts of victims. Case Prosecutor Erin West stated it was key that criminals in the world of digital assets know that they will be struck down by the law as quickly as possible. West claimed,

“These are not Robin Hoods. These are crooks who use a computer instead of a gun. They are not just stealing some ethereal, experimental currency. They are stealing college funds, home mortgages, people’s financial lives.”

It was also revealed that Ortiz committed the crimes using SIM swapping. It is a technique where fraudsters pose as victims and change their telecom operators to gain access to the victim’s credentials. The District Attorney also claimed that Ortiz was one of five people arrested for their involvement in cell phone scams.

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