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Man Offering Hacking Services for BTC Sentenced to 20 Months

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August 16, 2019 | 

Darryn Pollock |  0 Comments| 

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A 19-year-old from the United Kingdom has been handed down a sentence of 20 months after he was found to be offering his services as a hacker for a fee of $3,000in Bitcoin. Elliot Gunton was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing.

Apart from serving nearly two years in prison, Gunton has also been ordered to forfeit over £400,000 ($487,000) as part of his charges. Gunton has not had the cleanest record after he was caught for this latest crime when police were on a routine inspection of his premises ensure he was complying with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed by the court in June 2016 for previous offences.

Gunton’s laptop was investigated by police where they came across evidence that the youngster was offering his services as a hacker, also finding software that enabled him to fulfill his cybercrime offerings. 

According to the police Gunton had offered to supply compromised personal data of individuals to others for them to use for criminal purposes, such as passing on mobile phone numbers which allows third parties to intercept calls and texts to commit fraud.

Doing it for Bitcoin

It has become more and more prevalent that cyber criminals and hackers are offering their services for Bitcoin. The idea being that the cryptocurrency will be a payment method that will leave no paper trail and have no way of being found out by police. 

However, that is also starting to be shown as not true. Bitcoin has, since its emergence into a more mainstream market, been subject to harsher KYC regulations. It means that if using the cryptocurrency totally decentralized, it can be an anonymous option, but should a user look to move into fiat on a centralized exchange, their anonymity vanishes. 

In Guntons case, his Bitcoin was not necessarily his undoing, but it was seized by the police who managed to get their hands on £275,000 worth of cryptocurrency including Bitcoin under his control that appeared to be from his offered services. 

Recent cases of Bitcoin crimes

In recent times, there has been a slew of criminals who have been caught either dealing with cryptocurrencies, or accepting them as payment for their crimes. Two instances of dark web drug dealers were recently brought to light. 

After pleading guilty for selling drugs, including Carfentanil and Fentanyl, over the dark web, and taking payment in Bitcoin, Richard Castro was made to give up $4 million of ill-gotten funds, some of it in Bitcoin.

While, A sixty-year-old man from Columbus, Ohio, was arrested for money laundering and drug trafficking after he tried to get $19 million in Bitcoin through an exchange.

Hugh Haney was reportedly a high-profile drug trafficker on notorious dark web site, Silk Road, back in its years of operation from 2012-2013. Part of the marketplace known as Pharmville, Haney was attempting to launder $19 million illicitly earned monies. 

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