HomeBlockchainImpostors posing as Blockchain.com employees arrested and imprisoned for £5m cryptocurrency scam

Impostors posing as Blockchain.com employees arrested and imprisoned for £5m cryptocurrency scam

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Arrests Made in £5.7m Cryptocurrency Scam: Two Men Charged with Fraud

Two Men Arrested in the UK for Stealing Millions in Cryptocurrency Scam

Authorities in the UK have made a significant breakthrough in the fight against cryptocurrency scams with the arrest of two men who managed to steal £5.7 million worth of cryptocurrencies from victims worldwide.

James Heppel, 42, from Staverton in Wiltshire, and Jake Lee, 38, from Charlcombe in Bath, have been charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud. The duo defrauded cryptocurrency investors by setting up a fake version of the popular crypto exchange Blockchain.com. When unsuspecting users logged in to the bogus website, the scammers stole their crypto funds using their login details.

The pair targeted 55 victims in 26 countries, including 11 from the UK, as revealed by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU). The investigation began when Lee was arrested by the Avon and Somerset Police on suspicion of money laundering. During the arrest, authorities recovered three Bitcoin wallet recovery seeds, three digital devices, and £24,000 in cash from Lee.

Further investigations by the SWROCU uncovered a crypto scam that defrauded a Wiltshire resident of £11,000 worth of Bitcoin. The scam was linked to Lee and Heppel through the analysis of electronic devices recovered from Lee.

Both men have pleaded guilty to the charges, with Lee facing a 4-year jail sentence and Heppel receiving a 15-month sentence. A confiscation order for £1 million has also been issued against Lee.

“This was a complex and time-consuming prosecution that involved enquiries with numerous victims and prosecuting authorities worldwide,” said Pamela Jain, a prosecutor with the Serious Economic Organised Crime International Directorate of the Crown Prosecution Service.

Authorities have managed to recover £64,000 worth of cryptocurrency, £835,000 in cash, three cars, and a print of the painting ‘Bomb Love’ by artist Banksy, valued at £60,000. The UK has seen a rise in cryptocurrency scams, with residents losing an average of £15,000 to various schemes since October 2022, according to a report from TRM Labs.

The arrest of Heppel and Lee marks a significant victory in the fight against cryptocurrency fraud, sending a strong message to scammers looking to exploit unsuspecting investors in the digital asset space.

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