Crypto crime is no laughing matter and as we have seen in the past, it can take on many forms. It does not always come in the shape of a cyberattack or a hack on an exchange. Rather, sometimes people will try to use crypto to hide their malicious intent.
Crypto Crime Isn’t Always a Hack
One recent case allegedly involves a man in Rome, Italy, who is presently under house arrest after being accused of paying an attacker approximately $12,000 in BTC to maim his ex-girlfriend. Police claim that details of the attack are fierce, and that the event would have likely led to the victim living out the rest of her life in a paralyzed state. Thankfully, the woman is not hurt and remains unscathed following the European Union’s involvement in the case. This prompted Italian authorities to find the man responsible and take necessary action.
In the past, crypto crime usually occurs in the form of a hacked wallet or trading platform. Typically, money is stolen and there are many victims that find their pride in the toilet and their pockets empty. However, sometimes crypto crime can occur in other ways. One big example was the Silk Road dark website allegedly founded by Ross Ulbricht.
As one of the biggest dark web havens in history, customers could potentially utilize bitcoin and other forms of crypto to garner guns, drugs and other illicit items. The use of cryptocurrency was allegedly designed to hide their identities from prying eyes.
Italy’s Postal and Communication Police have described the current case as one like the “plot of a contemporary thriller.” The man who stands accused at the time of writing is 40 years of age and works as an IT expert in Lombardy, one of Italy’s northernmost districts. His relationship with the woman in question is believed to have ended in the summer of last year. This ultimately led to his search on the dark web for anyone who could inflict the damage he wanted.
The attack would have been rather grisly given that he allegedly wanted his paid attacker to throw acid in the girl’s face and break her back. All the while, the man tried to keep a friendly profile with her by sending flowers and messages her way, though evidence suggests he had made four bitcoin payments to his hired attacker.
A Terrible Crisis Has Seemingly Been Averted
In addition, the incident would have been staged to look like a potential robbery or home invasion, thereby hiding the truth. Ultimately, the suspect was traced through police of another country following messages he had sent through the Tor network. This occurred in February, and the neighboring nation was able to alert police in Italy from there.
The man is being charged with “attempted personal injury” and “aggravated harassment.”