The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has uncovered cryptocurrency and cash worth more than $1.66 million during an investigation.
Following information received from the FBI, the AFP arrested a hacker who sold stolen Netflix and Spotify subscriptions. Subsequently, the Supreme Court of New South Wales ordered the convicted hacker to forfeit the currencies to the Commonwealth.
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Largest Commonwealth Forfeiture of Cryptocurrency
According to a statement by the Australian police, the convicted hacker is a 23-year-old man from Sydney. He conspired with a man in the US to steal the login details of streaming service customers and then sell them online at a cheaper rate.
The Sydney offender pleaded guilty to various criminal offenses in October last year. Afterward, the AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) obtained restraining orders over all his accounts. Including crypto, bank, and PayPal accounts under false names that the hacker owned.
According to the report, the amount of crypto forfeited, more than AUD1.2 million ($902,276), is the largest Commonwealth forfeiture of cryptocurrency.
Total crypto market at $2.596 Trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap from TradingView.com
The Australian Federal Police started investigating after they received information from the FBI. The hacker used an account generator website called WickedGen.com to sell stolen account details for online subscription services. The account details belonged to unknowing victims in Australia and internationally, including the US. This website operated for about two years before the police got hold of the hacker. AFP cybercrime investigators executed a warrant at his home, where they seized various evidence.
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During the investigation, the Australian police discovered that the Sydney offender also operated three other similar websites. He converted some of his profits from these sites into various cryptocurrencies. An FBI indictment alleged that he operated one of the account generator websites with another man from the US.
The Australian Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews will distribute the seized funds to support crime prevention, law enforcement, and community-safety-related initiatives.
“Good work by the AFP has seen a criminal stripped of their ill-gotten gains, and this money redirected to enhancing the safety and security of communities right around Australia,” she said.
The Australian Federal Police On Crypto In Cybercrime
The Assistant Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Justine Gough, spoke about using crypto in cybercrime. According to her, criminals wrongly believed law enforcement could not confiscate their money if they converted it to crypto.
“The AFP-led CACT will relentlessly go after criminally-obtained assets in whatever form they are found – whether its cash, bank accounts, homes, luxury cars, or cryptocurrency,” the Assistant Commissioner said.
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