It’s happened again, folks. A hacker by the name of Grant West has taken control of several units of bitcoin that aren’t his and is now facing extensive prison time.
West Has Been Ordered to Pay Funds Back
This scenario is a little different, however. One of the big issues that many crypto holders have with the security of the space is that it’s lacking. Many times, when funds are stolen or go missing, they are often never recovered. The case at hand has the hacker being told by a judge to compensate all his victims and pay back what he has taken or else he can look forward to an additional four years in prison.
The 27-year-old hacker was previously described as a “one-man cybercrime wave.” After he was arrested in 2017, he was sentenced to serve time in jail for his misdeeds. A judge is now ordering him to pay back roughly 900,000 pounds in BTC. That’s over $1 million in USD.
The interesting fact about this case is that those 900,000 pounds are more than what was originally taken. The reason the judge is ordering more is because bitcoin, at press time, is higher than where it stood in September of two years ago, and the court seeks to ensure all victims are compensated appropriately.
Police authorities had been in possession of roughly 82 BTC units since West was imprisoned. It is estimated that each bitcoin will be worth around 8,500 pounds each at the time of dispersal. Prosecuting counsel Kevin Barry explains:
Inevitably, in any case like this, there will have to be a further hearing after this. As the court recognizes today, as do the parties, there is likely to be fluctuation which will require in due course for the order to be amended upwards or downwards.
While authorities possessed the stolen bitcoins long after West’s arrest, they are not legally able to provide the bitcoins to anyone unless the defendant agrees. In this case, the answer was obvious: repay your victims or face an additional four years in prison, though the option remained open for West not to part with the bitcoins.
A Criminal Career Comes to an End
DCI Kirsty Goldsmith, who heads the Met’s cybercrime unit, explained in a statement:
The MPS is committed to ensuring that individuals who are committing criminality on the dark web are identified, prosecuted and their criminal assets are seized… I am very proud of my team for bringing this offender to justice and ensuring we have secured this order.
West’s criminal career began in 2015. He would ultimately spend over two years committing cyberattacks on several companies around the world including Sainsbury’s, Uber and the British Cardiovascular Society. He was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison for his actions in May of 2018.