An IT contractor stole $38,000 in crypt coins while repairing a company’s computers

An IT specialist was jailed for 20 months at Liverpool Crown Court on 11 June, after stealing crypt coins worth more than £30,000 (USD 38,000).

According to St Helens Star, freelance contractor Mark Andrews of St Helens had been hired to repair a company’s computer systems last year, when he found and stole digital assets belonging to the company’s owner.

CipherTrace: Nearly $1.4 billion in crypts were stolen in the first five months of 2020

The IT contractor received the „keys to the kingdom“
The victim had previously purchased a number of crypto currencies that he had stored in a private folder on his commercial network. By April 2019, the value of this had increased to £31,244 (USD 40,000).

He employed Andrews to solve problems with the company’s IT software, paying £1,320 (USD 1,720) for the work.

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However, even though Andrews had access to the company’s network, he gained access to the victim’s private folder and stole all the crypt coins he had.

Be careful who you trust

When the victim realized what had happened, she reported it to the police, who confiscated Andrews‘ computer and discovered the transactions.

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The police managed to recover £17,000, although Andrews had already spent £14,000 to pay off his debts. It was also found that he had four previous convictions for offences, including obtaining property by deception.

Before Andrews was jailed, he told the court he felt „very stupid“ and „couldn’t believe what he did. A statement from the victim of the businessman whose cryptomoney was stolen said the incident had really affected his ability to trust people.

While the number of Bitcoin Revolution stolen in this incident is a drop in the ocean compared to the $1.4 billion stolen in the first five months of 2020, it highlights the need to be aware of the keys that are stored on devices that are serviced or maintained. It also reminds the public that not all crypto coins are stolen from high-profile hacks.