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Bitcoin seized as ‘realisable assets’ in confiscation proceedings

A convicted computer hacker has been ordered to pay back over £900,000 of Bitcoin under a Confiscation Order.

Grant West, 27, was arrested in September 2017 following a lengthy police investigation, codename ‘Operation Draba’ unearthing the activities of West on the dark web using the alias ‘Courvoisier’.  West used phishing emails to carry out cyber-attacks over a two and a half year period on more than 100 companies including Sainsbury’s, Uber, Ladbrokes, Just-Eat and the British Cardiovascular Society.  He sold the information he obtained on the dark web and received payment in cryptocurrency.

In May 2018 he was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison for offences of unauthorised modification of computer material, conspiracy to defraud and possession of criminal property.

West was arrested on a train from Wales to London after he was viewed by undercover officers logging onto his computer which was immediately seized, allowing detectives to access his account in the dark web.

In passing sentence at Southwark Crown Court Judge Gledhill criticised the lack of security at the companies that had been targeted by West stating “When such inadequate security is confronted with a criminal of your skills and ambition it is totally unfit for purpose and worthless. This case should be a wake-up call to customers, companies and the computer industry to the very real threat of cybercrime”.


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