Ohio Man Steals 712 Bitcoin From Brother, Sentenced to Prison

An Ohio man has been sentenced to prison for stealing 712 Bitcoin from his own brother. The man had access to his brother’s digital wallet and transferred the cryptocurrency to his own account. The stolen Bitcoin was worth over $3.25 million at the time of the theft. The man has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison and will have to repay his brother the full value of the stolen cryptocurrency. This incident highlights the importance of securing digital assets and the potential consequences of unauthorized access to them.

Ohio man sentenced to prison for stealing over $21 million in Bitcoin from his brother

Gary James Harmon, an Ohio resident, has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison for stealing 712 Bitcoin from his brother’s account, according to the US Department of Justice. The stolen Bitcoins, worth over $21 million at today’s prices, were taken by Harmon after the arrest of his brother in February 2020 for operating a coin-mixing service called Helix, which processed over 350,000 Bitcoin between 2014 and 2017 and partnered with several darknet markets. Harmon was able to transfer the funds by recreating Bitcoin wallets with his brother’s credentials and then laundering them through two online mixing services.

Harmon pleaded guilty to wire fraud and obstruction of justice, both of which carry a maximum sentence of 40 years combined. But he was sentenced to a lighter punishment due to his cooperation with authorities and his agreement to forfeit cryptocurrencies that included 17.4 million Dogecoin, around 647 Bitcoin, and just over 2 Ethereum, together valued at more than $20 million.

Coin-mixing services or Bitcoin mixers, like the one owned by Harmon’s brother, have been frowned upon by law enforcement officials who regard them as crucial to hackers and other bad actors. Last year, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against the coin-mixer Tornado Cash, thereby essentially banning US citizens from engaging with the application. The Treasury Department alleged that Tornado Cash was being used by the North Korean state-sponsored hacking organization Lazarus Group.

Though some crypto policy groups have been fighting the Treasury’s efforts, Harmon’s case provides an example of the dangers posed by these mixing services. The sentence given to Harmon sends a clear message that crypto-related crimes will not go unpunished. It also highlights the importance of maintaining stringent security controls and adhering to ethical guidelines once a part of the crypto world.

Leave a Comment

Google News