UK authorities have seized over £920,000 ($1.1 million) worth of Bitcoin from a prolific hacker, the funds will be used to compensate his victims.
Grant West, aka ‘Courvoisier,’ is a hacker that was arrested by the police on September 2017 as result of a two-year-long investigation code-named ‘Operation Draba.’
The man was charged with multiple hacking and drug-related crimes.
In December he pleaded guilty and earlier this year, a UK court sentenced West to 10 years and eight months in prison.
West carried out phishing scams against hundreds of companies since 2015, he stole financial data of tens of thousands of customers and then sold that information on cybercrime underground forums.
“West was responsible for attacks on more than 100 companies worldwide. He predominately used ‘phishing’ email scams to obtain the financial data of tens of thousands of customers. West would then sell this personal data in different market places on the dark web.” reads a statement from Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
“He would then convert the profit made from selling financial details online into cryptocurrency, and store these in multiple accounts.”
When the man was arrested the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU) raided his home and seized an SD card containing approximately 78 million individual usernames and passwords as well as 63,000 credit and debit card details.
The police also seized around £1.6 million in cryptocurrency stored in the wallets belonging to West, but the fluctuating value of Bitcoin and other digital currencies brought the seized funds down to £922, 978.14.
Authorities also seized a laptop of the West’s girlfriend that was containing personal financial information of more than 100,000 people.
West has been accused to have conducted phishing scams on the websites of 17 major companies including Uber, Sainsbury’s, Nectar, Groupon, T Mobile, AO.com, Argos, the Finnish Bitcoin exchange, the British Cardiovascular Society, Truly Experiences Ltd, and M R Porter.
West was also very active in the sale of cannabis on the dark web.
Now the Southwark Crown Court judge ordered him to pay back more than $1.1 million (over £922,000) using Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies he earned from the sale.
The funds were confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act, in case West refused the confiscation order, he would serve a further four years in jail.
“The confiscation of the cryptocurrency, which West did not contest, follows a lengthy police investigation, codename ‘Operation Draba’, into the criminal activities of West, who was operating on the Dark Web under the moniker of ‘Courvoisier’.” continues the MPC.
“The cryptocurrency will now be sold, and the victims will receive compensation for the damage caused by the organised criminality committed by West.”
“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.” said Detective Chief Inspector Kirsty Goldsmith, the Head of the MPCCU.
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