More than $8.5 Million in Bitcoin Seized by Israeli Police
A massive anti-money laundering action has been carried out by the cyber department of the State Attorney’s Office. It filed an indictment, alleging that Hilmi Git had managed to commit more than 20,000 fraudulent transactions using Israeli credit cards, laundering the money through the Bitcoin network.
1,071 BTC Seized by Israeli Police
Halmi Git, a resident of Hebron, has been accused of multiple offenses of credit card fraud, providing means for committing a crime, carrying out fraudulent trade activity, and laundering the proceeds through Bitcoin. It is reported that the Git managed to accumulate a total of 1,071 Bitcoin over the course of his crimes.
At press time, Bitcoin is trading at $7,342.21, putting the total value of Git’s fraud at a little over $7.8 million.
Web of Crime
According to the indictment, Git ran a network of forums and websites used to provide information on how to commit a range of computer offenses. One such forum provided is reported to have provided stolen credit card information. While entry to the forum was free, members could purchase a “VIP” membership to receive “fresh” credit card data. Git also published different guides in violation with the country’s Computers and Money Laundering Law.
But wait… there’s more! Reportedly, Git also ran another scam, fraudulently selling mobile phones – often members of his own forums – at substantially reduced prices.
The indictment describes a scheme in which Git would request that the customer transfer his money for the phone, after which point he would proceed to block the customer from the forum without ever actually having sent the customer their phone. He would go on to publish a positive feedback message on behalf of the deceived customer, expressing gratitude for the cheaper mobile phone.
All Payments Made in Bitcoin
The Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office claims that Git had requested all the payments to be made in Bitcoin. As such, he has reportedly managed to accumulate more than 1,071 Bitcoin between 2008 and 2018.
The Bitcoin wallet of the accused has been seized and the funds in it are to be confiscated if and when he is found guilty of his crimes.
The prosecution also seeks an extension of Git’s confinement until the end of the trial due to potential flight risk as well as concerns that having access to the internet will allow Git to “continue carrying out the criminal enterprise he established over the past decade.” Given the defendant’s thoughts on his actions, the concern seems more than warranted.
Showing no remorse whatsoever, Git was quoted as saying:
We are thieves, from wherever we can take money – we’ll take it, no matter where – from Israel, The US or even the moon – we will reach it and use it.
What do you think will happen to those 1,071 Bitcoin if Git is found guilty? Please let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Reuters, Shutterstock