Mark Andrews, an IT specialist in the UK, was recently sentenced to 20 months in jail for the theft of over $37,000 worth of crypto. Andrews, 38, was sentenced under the Computer Misuse Act. 

How He Did It

According to a local media report, Andrews, who is from Woodlands Roads, St Helens was hired by his victim to offer his IT services for his business. His victim, who is from Wilmslow, first got in touch with Andres in April 2019 via his IT services site. Andrews was tasked with doing some IT work at the victim’s place of work. It is during the work that he came upon information, which he used to steal the crypto. The coins he stole were in LTC, BTC, and ETH.

The victim traced some of the coins and he found evidence that led to the arrest of Andrews by the Cyber Crime Team and the Cheshire Constabulary. Andrews was placed under arrest on suspicion of theft of crypto and violating the Computer Misuse Act. Officers from the Cyber Crime Team managed to retrieve a huge amount of crypto from Andrews. Additionally, they seized various devices that held important evidence.

He was later charged with unauthorized access to a computer to facilitate crime and theft. After court proceedings, he was sentenced to a 20-month jail term and another concurrent sentence of 10 months for violation of the Computer Misuse Act at Chester Crown Court.

The investigators found that Andrews had spent around $17,000 of the stolen funds to clear his debts while around $21,000 was recovered. Andrews had four prior convictions for eight offenses that included obtaining property by pretense and selling an unauthorized decoder.

His defense attorney told the court that Andrews was remorseful for what he had done and he felt “very stupid” about it. The attorney added that Andrews often fixed laptops and computers for kids, charging no fees.

During the sentencing, Judge Simon Berkson said that Andrews was put in a high degree of trust at his victim’s business and he breached that trust by stealing as much money as he could.

What the Police Had to Say

According to the lead investigator from the Cyber Crime Team, Detective Sergeant David MacFarlane, the investigation was quite complex. He added that it was an example of how traditional criminality had found its way into the digital space.

In a victim impact statement read in court, it said that the crime had been quite damaging to the victim, who trusted Andrews. The Cyber Crime Team with the help of the Economic Crime Unit and the Digital Forensics Unit were able to put together important details that led to the apprehending of Andrews.

The lead detective said that he hoped the sentence would be a deterrent for those who thought they could get away with such a crime. Additionally, he reminded people that they needed to protect their data and keep it safe from criminals.

The conviction of Andrews was in part made possible after a landmark ruling in February. During the case, a judge ruled that crypto was property. Shortly after that ruling, the UK Jurisdiction Task Force published a lengthy legal statement, explaining that crypto would now be considered property by UK courts. It is a positive development for the UK crypto sector.

Image Source: Pixabay 

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