With the rising values of cryptocurrency, the crimes are on the rise as well. One recent example is the hack that got away with $60 million worth of bitcoins. Another story of a crime has popped up in New Jersey as a man kidnapped his friend to steal his digital wallet containing ethereum worth $1.8 million.
Louis Meza was indicted on Tuesday this week by the Manhattan District Attorney. the case involves an alleged kidnapping of a friend in order to rob him of his digital wallet containing ethereum. Meza is still awaiting trial but faces the following charges.
- Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
- Kidnapping in the Second Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
- Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
- Criminal Use of a Firearm in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
- Burglary in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
- Computer Trespass, a class E felony, 1 count
- Computer Tampering in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
That is quite a long list of charges that has been racked up in the attempted kidnapping. The common ways of stealing cryptocurrencies are hacking online wallets and forcing exchange collapses that leave investors with big losses.
New York District Attorney, Cyrus Vance said about the crime: “Hackers, data breaches, and fraud aren’t the only threats to an individual’s wealth. This case demonstrates the increasingly common intersection between cyber and violent crime-the defendant is charged with coordinating an elaborate kidnapping, armed robbery, and burglary to gain access to the victim’s digital wallet and the significant funds it contained. We can expect this type of crime to become increasingly common as cryptocurrency values surge upward.”
The report says that Meza offered to drop his friend home in his minivan and along the way a man with a gun appeared from behind asking him to give up his wallet, keys, and mobile phone. A little later, Meza was caught in apartment surveillance cameras leaving with a box that is believed to contain the victim’s digital ethereum wallet.
Funds transfer to his personal account confirm the robbery and even though Meza pleaded not guilty, with the long list of charges he faces up to 25 years in prison.