Bitcoins Worth $1 Million Seized by British Court to Compensate Cyber Attack Victims

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In the first-ever case of its kind, a British judge has ordered confiscation of Bitcoins worth $1 million from a jailed hacker.

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The case proceedings on Friday morning at Southwark Crown Court saw a lot of drama. Grant West – who is infamously known as the ‘one-man cybercrime wave‘ agreed to the settlement over four extra years in jail.

The victims demanded varied compensation due to the fluctuation in the price of Bitcoin since September 2017, when he was arrested. Finally, the court decided upon $8,500 as the nominal price of 1 BTC for calculating the compensation.

Per the Proceeds of Crime Act, the judge, Joanna Korner QC ordered the compensation of £915,305.77 ($1,120,379) to be paid out to the victims.

MET who carried out West’s arrest on a train was proud of the work. The head of Met’s cybercrime unit, DCI Kirsty Goldsmith told the media,

“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.”

Grant West

Earlier, the authorities had already confiscated about $1 million from West at the time of the arrest. Reportedly, FBI in the US has about $200,000 worth in Bitcoins seized by them. The Metropolitan Police had seized the rest of the amount and is now under the protection of the crown.

The law required legal approval from the defendant on the order, even as the assets had already been seized.

Grant West was sentenced to jail for over 10 years on various charges of cyber-crimes which included hacking attempts, phishing attacks, financial frauds and theft, and darknet trading. Using penname, ‘Courvoisier’, West sold credit card details, cannabis, and online tutorials on conducting cyber-attacks on the dark web.

He conducted a majority of his operations following 2015 before being arrested in September 2017. He duped about 100 companies including Uber and Sainbury’s. Reportedly, at the time of his arrest, he had financial data of about $78 million online banking customers.

The prosecuting counsel noted that a further hearing would be required to determine the difference between the amount sanctioned and the left-over of his ‘client’s assets.’

How do you think the courts shall determine the compensation in these cases? Please share your views with us.

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"Nivesh Rustgi : @https://twitter.com/nivishoes Nivesh from Engineering Background is a full-time Crypto Journalist at Coingape. He is an atheist who believes in love and cultural diversity. He believes that Cryptocurrency is a necessity to deter corruption. He holds small amounts of cryptocurrencies. Faith and fear are two sides of the same coin. Follow him on Twitter at @nivishoes or mail him at nivesh(at)coingape.com."
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