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Teen Offering Fake Bomb Threats for Bitcoin Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison


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The cryptocurrency industry attracts people from all strides of life. Some people see the big picture, whereas others want to get rich quick. One teenager making fake bomb threats has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Interestingly enough, this perpetrator was paid nearly $800,000 in Bitcoin.

Bomb Hoaxes are a Serious Crime

It remains unclear what drove this teenager to commit multiple bomb hoaxes. He targeted schools, hospitals, Jewish centers, and so forth. It is expected over a hundred separate incidents have been recorded over the years. Such a large-scale operation cannot go by unnoticed for very long. Ultimately, the teenager responsible for these prank calls was arrested.

Earlier this week, he received a jail sentence of ten years in prison. For a 19-year-old, that is a rather harsh reality check. He received this sentencing in Tel Aviv, as the perpetrator is of American-Israeli descent. A different case against this person is underway in the United States where the Justice Department aims to sue him for hate crimes.

Most of these crimes were committed during his years as a minor. All convictions pertain to hoaxes committed after turning 18 years old. Charges include making threats, conspiracy to commit a crime, and even money laundering. That latter angle involves Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency. Developments like these give Bitcoin an even worse reputation than it already has today.

Bomb Hoaxes are a Serious Crime

The Bitcoin Angle Raises Eyebrows

Court documents obtained by the New York Times indicate this person preferred to be paid in Bitcoin. He was an active darknet user and always favored BTC to remain somewhat anonymous. Bitcoin is a favored payment method on underground forums, though its actual use in criminal activity is extremely low, despite critics’ claims. For all of his efforts, the teenager earned 184 bitcoins – roughly $775,000 at current prices.

Not all of these payments have to do with bomb hoaxes. The user is also active in terms of child pornography, drugs, and bomb-making guides. This further confirms the individual has a clear intent to commit various crimes in search of quick money. Fake bomb threats cost $40 to execute, which makes for a rather appealing business model to the right people.

The defendant has refused to give up access to his Bitcoin wallet meaning that, at this time, the government cannot seize the funds in question. A small portion of his earnings was exchanged to cash. Everything else is still stored in an undisclosed Bitcoin wallet. It is unclear if any action will be undertaken to gain access to the money in question.

Do you think that criminals will continue to use Bitcoin despite its proven lack of true anonymity? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

JP Buntinx
JP Buntinx
JP is a freelance copywriter and SEO writer who is passionate about various topics. The majority of his work focuses on Bitcoin, blockchain, and financial technology. He is contributing to major news sites all over the world, including NewsBTC, The Merkle, Samsung Insights, and TransferGo.


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