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Is This the Oddest Crypto Court Case Ever?

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A man named Orion Alexander Holtby was found not guilty in a court of law in British Columbia, Canada after he was accused of stealing thousands of dollars in crypto from his ex-girlfriend.

This Crypto Case May Be the Most Unusual

The situation is odd in that while it was deemed that he likely did steal and then sell the crypto, the lack of traceability regarding situations like these wound up working in his favor. With little evidence to support the idea that he did, in fact, engage in the illicit activity mentioned, the judge allowed him to avoid jail time and a conviction, though the truth remains that he probably engaged in the stated activity.

For this reason, while he’s not guilty of fraud or theft, he’s being urged by the court to somehow track down the $92,000 in crypto he “didn’t steal” in March of 2021 and find a way to return it to its original owner. In a statement, the judge explained:

Were this a civil matter, I would most likely have found you liable to the plaintiff. However, this is a criminal matter with a far more demanding burden. That said… to the extent that you may still be in a position to help Ms. Oman access her coins, I encourage you to consider doing so after taking appropriate advice from your counsel.

The situation is a rough reminder that crypto, once it’s gone, can be very hard to locate. We have been seeing situations like this in the past of victims (particularly elderly individuals), for example, being scammed into sending crypto to unnamed addresses through bitcoin ATMs. Law enforcement agencies warn against falling for this as usually once the money is sent, it’s gone forever.

Sean Tweed – a crypto investigator in Vancouver, Canada – said in an interview:

The information is all publicly available. Any individual can view the blockchain online and see transactions that occur. The issue is that the blockchain doesn’t provide personal identifying information, so you can’t decipher who specifically owns coins.

He was quick to comment, however, that he’s confused by the ruling and is especially perturbed by the idea that law enforcement agents in charge of the above-mentioned case didn’t take advantage of all the routes they had to potentially locate the allegedly stolen crypto. He stated:

Part of me is a little surprised that they weren’t a little bit more successful given some of the advantages that they had.

What to Do?

In any case, the judge concluded with:

Theft of physical property is relatively easy to describe. One person owns an object. Another takes that object without permission, but what if the relevant property is a series of digital 1s and 0s protected by multiple levels of passwords and protocols?

Nick Marinoff
Nick Marinoffhttps://www.livebitcoinnews.com/
Nick Marinoff is currently a lead news writer and editor for Money & Tech, a San Francisco-based broadcasting station that reports on all things digital currency-related. He has also written for a number of other online and print publications including Black Impact Magazine, EKT Interactive, Seal Beach USA and Benzinga.com, to name a few. He has recently published his first e-book "Take a 'Loan' Off Your Shoulders: 14 Simple Tricks for Graduating Debt Free" now available on Amazon. He is excited about the potential digital currency offers, particularly its ability to finance unbanked populations and bring nations together financially.

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