Police in Lincolnshire, UK announced on October 26, 2021, that they had seized around $2.75 million worth of crypto from a 17-year-old in Lincolnshire County. According to the announcement, the operation was carried out by the Lincolnshire Police Cyber Crime Unit. The seizure is part of a money-laundering investigation. According to the police, the seizure is one of the first and biggest of its kind in the county.
Details Of The Report
The police revealed that they seized the cryptocurrency from a 17-year-old who resides in the south of the county. However, his name was not revealed because of legal reasons. The suspect was arrested on August 14, 2020, following reports from Action Fraud and Crimestoppers. Information revealed to the police suggested that he was part of a credit card fraud scheme. It was said that the teenager had stolen personal data to steal over $8000 from a digital gift card company.
Upon further investigations, the Cyber Crime Unit found that the teenager was linked to a money-laundering scheme using crypto. Upon further investigations, the police seized over 48 Bitcoin and other crypto coins. The boy used the proceeds of his criminal activity to invest in crypto.
Commenting on the case, Detective Constable Luke Casey, said that the scheme was a “sophisticated cyber fraud.” He added that it was a complex investigation that involved their Cyber Crime Unit working with several other agencies and internal departments. Detective Casey also thanked everyone involved in helping to bring a positive outcome to the case.
The Court Proceedings
For his crimes, the 17-year-old was given a 12-month rehabilitation order at the Lincoln Crown Court. The prosecutor, Sam Skinner, said that the boy created a fake site from his bedroom in April 2020. This site was strikingly similar to the official Love2Shop official site that sells gift vouchers.
Afterward, the boy placed ads via Google Ads, which led to the site being ranked above the genuine site. People were tricked into visiting his site believing that they were on Love2Shop. Court documents revealed that the teenager took down the site after a week when Love2Shop began an investigation into the site.
The boys used the proceeds from his one-week fraudulent scheme to purchase Bitcoin and other coins, which then soured in value. At the time of his arrest, the coins seized were worth around $275,000. However, their value has risen to over $2.75 million. Investigations also found the boy in possession of over 12,000 credit card numbers and the details of 197 PayPal accounts.
The 17-year-old who is studying his A-levels admitted to the crime of acquiring over $8,000 fraudulently. Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight ruled that the boy had all the crypto seized from him. She stated that:
“If he was an adult he would be going inside.” She told the boy, “You have a long-standing interest in computers. Unfortunately, you used your skills to commit a sophisticated fraud.”
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