A cybercrime involving a 23-year-old man in Slough UK lead to the first case in Britain where Bitcoins were seized from the culprit. Gabriele Pearson had managed to secure fifty thousand EUROs worth of Bitcoins from an elaborate online fraud. Besides having his accumulated cryptocurrencies seized, Pearson has also been sentenced to 15 months of jail time.
Detective Inspector Rob Walker who is the head of Surrey and Sussex’s Joint Cyber Crime Unit, said: “We are proud to be among one the first Forces in the country to take this step and reunite a victim with what is rightfully theirs. Hopefully, this will be the first of many cases of this kind.”
According to sources, Pearson was using a stolen PayPal account with which he bought in-game currency of Second Life – a virtual world simulator game. Through the game, he purchased Lindon Dollars (the virtual in-game currency used in Second Life) and then converted them to Bitcoins while withdrawing funds from the online game. The fact that Pearson was able to pull off this stunt heavily relies on his background as a professional at an IT company.
Paul Constable, the chief officer on the case, informed, “He [Pearson] primed the account to accept larger sums of cash, but his offending was noticed while he was waiting for confirmation from PayPal that he could increase the transfer limit to £50,000. He was able to request this as he had accessed further private documents that meant he could bypass PayPal’s identification requirements.”
Now, coming to the interesting part of the case. The offense dates back to December 2014 when Pearson managed to accumulate a total of 9.9 Bitcoins. But back then, BTC value was $250 per token, which makes up for a total value of $2500 approx. But in regards to current market values, the bitcoin prices amounts to $50,000.
Hence the Surrey Police caught Pearson who stole $2500, but they seized $50,000 worth of stolen goods. The authorities are yet to comment on what they intended to do in this precise scenario.