British police have seized $2.7 million (£2 million) worth of Bitcoin from a 17-year-old boy—who has not been identified for legal reasons—in Lincolnshire, England.
The boy set up a fake website as part of what was described as a “sophisticated cyber fraud,” and used $8,900 (£6,500) worth of stolen vouchers to buy Bitcoin. He was given a 12-month rehabilitation order by the Lincoln Crown Court.
The fake website, set up by the teenager in April 2020, was a near carbon copy of Love2Shop, a website that sells gift cards and vouchers.
“People were duped into clicking on his website thinking they were accessing the official site,” said Sam Skinner, prosecutor on the case.
The police investigation found a total of 48 Bitcoin, a share of other cryptocurrencies, over 12,000 credit card numbers on the teenager’s computer, and the details of an additional 197 PayPal accounts.
Detectives from our Cyber Crime Unit have seized more than £2million worth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency as part of a money laundering investigation. It is the largest seizure ever of cryptocurrency in Lincolnshire.
More: https://t.co/uGXsdfavei#WeAreLincolnshirePolice pic.twitter.com/QizpnE1hHv
— Lincolnshire Police (@LincsPolice) October 26, 2021
He admitted to charges of money laundering and fraud, and Judge Catarina Knight said that, “if he was an adult he would be going inside.”
This is not the first time Bitcoin has made its way into the British court system.
Recent crypto court cases in the UK
In March of this year, five individuals were charged in a $27 million (£20 million) Bitcoin fraud case.
The case lasted almost two years, and saw the five individuals make use of a loophole in a company called Coinsport, operated by Australian firm Casey Block Services, to commit the fraud.
“This has been a long-running investigation involving a vast amount of money—millions of pounds,” said prosecutor Malcolm Isherwood at the time.
In April, two men were jailed after using dark web sites to purchase cocaine from South America, a trade that earned them over $4.8 million (£3.5 million).