Delaware Secret Service Helped Met Police Recover 51.5 BTC From Poloniex Belonging To British Hacker
American Secret Service in Delaware helped the British police find $215,000 in Bitcoin (51.65346314 BTC seized currently worth $330,000) stored on Delaware-based exchange Poloniex.
British Hacker Grant West was arrested and sentenced last year in the UK for having stolen the personal information of more than 160,000 people and obtained details from over 60,000 credit cards.
Upon raiding his house following the arrest, police founds $33,000 and $650,000 in cash and Bitcoin, respectively.
American Secret Service in Delaware helped the British police find another $215,000 in Bitcoin (51.65346314 BTC seized currently worth $330,000) stored on Delaware-based exchange Poloniex.
Grant West – the “one man cybercrime wave”
Grant West was accused of being behind the hacking of servers of over 100 companies through phishing scams. Also known as Courvoisier, West hacked the websites of companies like Sainsbury’s, Uber, Asda, Argos and betting platforms Ladbrokes and Coral.
In a raid at his home after the arrest, Police seized an SD card which contained 7 million email addresses and associated passwords. He also had saved the details of more than 500 companies.
Grant is said to have sold off personal information and company details he acquired from the companies and thousands of people he scammed. His preferred customers were on the now-defunct dark web marketplace Alpha Bay.
He admitted to laundering the money he amassed via bitcoin and storing the proceeds in various wallet accounts. West was sentenced to a ten-year jail term on May 2 after being found guilty of theft, fraud, and computer misuse.
However, Grant’s hacking exploits were so widespread, that the sentencing judge aptly described him as “a one-man cybercrime wave,” BBC wrote at the time.
It is reported that Grant West will have to forfeit his $200k worth of Bitcoin to the U.S government, court documents in the District of Delaware show.
Delaware’s role in West’s Capture
According to a report published by Delaware Online, undercover law enforcement officers in the U.K. nabbed West in 2017, the “first time London Metropolitan Police arrested a cybercriminal.”
Attempts to arrest the hacker goes back to 2015, with the consummate cyber criminal allegedly being responsible for the hacking of over 100 different companies.
Delaware’s role in the capture of the notorious British hacker came to light after a recent asset disclosure document from the US Attorney’s Office in the state.
As per the documents, Federal authorities in Delaware tracked down the hacker’s digital footprint and located his assets at an exchange with servers in the state, where crypto exchange Poloniex is located.
The law enforcers were able to seize about $215,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) before the information led to the capture of the man behind the “Just Eat” email scam.
The USA Today’-owned news site says that although the tiny state could pass as an unlikely player in efforts to crack an international hacking case, its strategic position in the banking sector was a big factor.
Notably, the First State is the ‘home’ of server operations for most of the banks in the country, with businesses in the nascent crypto industry following suit.
Delaware Online noted that:
“Delaware for years has been the site of large numbers of government seizures of dollars from the bank accounts of suspected criminals because so many banks keep their central servers in the First State. Now, that has expanded to include bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”
Grant never set foot in Delaware, but he held his bitcoins on the crypto exchange Poloniex, which happened to have its servers located in Wilmington, Delaware. The US federal investigators working on the case seized his $217,401 worth of BTC from the site.