How Delaware Contributed to the Arrest of Notorious British Bitcoin Hacker
The state of Delaware immensely contributed to the arrest of a British hacker who made money by selling private data. The cybercriminal, known as Grant west, hid the proceeds from his illicit business in Bitcoin accounts across the globe. This case is an indicator that a significant amount of cash still flows through Delaware.
The US government has made numerous seizures of Bitcoins perceived to be acquired through illegal trades. For this reason, many Bitcoin analysts believe that the American government controls the largest amount of Bitcoin in the world.
Since most digital currencies are unregulated, coupled up with their intangible nature, their transactions are difficult to track. Despite their many advantages, the anonymity of cryptocurrencies has made them the ideal currency for funding criminal activities.
Delaware is the preferred location for hosting the servers for most financial institutions in the US. Likewise, many cryptocurrency trading platforms have set up their servers in the First State. This is the reason why a majority of government seizures of illegal money from criminals happen in Delaware.
Grant West began hacking servers belonging to various companies in 2015. He breached the databases of over 100 firms, stealing personal information in the process. West would later sell the information on the Dark Web, according to police reports.
In 2017, West was apprehended by British covert agents in a first-class coach of a passenger train. The arrest of West was significant because it was the first time that the Scotland Yard had caught a cybercriminal. The police seized $700,000 worth of Bitcoin during the arrest.
Asset disclosure documents that came out this month have revealed at American Secret Service agents seized an additional $217,000 worth of Bitcoin from Grant West. The funds were hidden in the servers of the Poloniex crypto exchange located in Delaware.
The seized funds were initially transferred to the US Secret Service. Later, they were moved to the US Marshals Service. The current location of the funds remains unknown. The US Secret Service Forfeiture Branch had been seizing cryptocurrencies for the past five years. In this case, the agency said that West acquired his Bitcoin through identity theft, wire fraud and money laundering.
Following his arrest, West was charged in the UK for conspiring to defraud among other accusations. Apparently, West used phishing to coax people to share their private credentials such as PINs and passwords. After selling the data to criminals, West used the money to fund his lavish lifestyle.