By Kevin Helms
British police have seized bitcoin worth almost $3 million from a teenager who set up a fake website to scam consumers. “At the time they were worth £200,000. They are now worth a little over £2 million.”
UK Police Seize $2.8 Million in Bitcoin
British police have arrested a 17-year-old boy from South Lincolnshire and seized bitcoin worth almost $3 million from him, BBC News reported Tuesday. The authorities cannot name the boy for legal reasons.
Prosecutor Sam Skinner said the teen set up a fake website that was almost identical to the official site of Love2shop, which sells gift vouchers.
He then paid to advertise on Google, resulting in his bogus site appearing above the genuine site in search results. The scam site duped Love2shop users into entering their personal details. The prosecutor said:
People were duped into clicking on his website thinking they were accessing the official site.
The teen took the site down after a week when Love2shop began investigating him following a complaint from a customer.
He stole £6,500 ($8,954) worth of vouchers and used the proceeds to buy bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, Lincoln Crown Court was told.
When he was arrested in August last year, police found 48 bitcoins and smaller numbers of other cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, this amount of BTC is worth almost $3 million based on data from Bitcoin.com Markets.
At the time they were worth £200,000. They are now worth a little over £2 million.
Upon further investigation, police additionally found over 12,000 credit card numbers stored on the teen’s computer and details of 197 Paypal accounts.
The teenager admitted to charges of money laundering between April 9 and 16, 2020, and fraud totaling £6,539 by false representation.
Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight ruled that he benefited from his crimes by £2,141,720 and ordered that amount to be confiscated from his assets. The teenager was also handed a 12-month rehabilitation order. “If he was an adult he would be going inside,” the judge said.
What do you think about this case? Let us know in the comments section below.