Afek Zard – an Israeli resident – will spend the next eight years behind bars for stealing 75,000 DASH coins worth 22 million Shekels or roughly $7 million from a close friend. Apart from the jail time, the man will pay a fine of $1.5 million and compensation to the victim for $80,000.
Beware of Friends When Dealing with Crypto
The Be’er Sheva District Court sent to prison for 8 years the 27-year-old Afek Zard, who embezzled 75,000 digital coins worth around $6.8 million. Somewhat surprisingly, the victim of the man was a friend.
According to the authorities, Zard – who has had experience with cryptocurrency investments – was a regular guest at his friend’s house and even had his own key. Unfortunately for the victim, the criminal took advantage of that friendship and one day hacked his computer and stole the details of his digital wallet that included 75,000 DASH coins.
By the time of the crime, the amount of cryptocurrency was worth about $6.8 million as a single unit of DASH traded at $82.5. Following the investigation, Zard denied all charges against him and refused to give passwords to his own computer and cell phone. Thus, the police investigators were unable to confiscate the stolen assets.
However, Judge Yoel Eden ruled that Zard’s testimony was not trustworthy and that he is indeed guilty. The court convicted him of several crimes such as hacking into computer material, money laundering, fraud offense under the Income Tax Ordinance, and aggravated theft.
The prosecution, in fact, demanded at least 12 years in prison for Zard as this is a serious crime involving a new type of currencies. However, his lawyer – Giora Hazan – managed to reduce his sentence to eight years by claiming:
“Although this is a new platform on which the offense was committed, the damage caused to the compliant is ‘normal and old’ damage, just as it would have been if the defendant had entered the compliant’s house and stolen many tens of millions of shekels.”
Besides the years behind bars, Zard will have to pay a fine of $1.5 million and compensate his “friend” with around $80,000.
Stealing Crypto over a Glass of Wine
As CryptoPotato reported, a similar story happened in Malta last month. This time, though, the two men were not at home but in a restaurant.
While having their lunch, the accused – 25-year-old Luke John Milton – urged the 27-year-old victim Dillon Attard to make a $6,000 blockchain investment on his phone. While observing, the latter sensed something was wrong and snatched his device from the accused only to see that his crypto worth $700,000 has turned zero as apparently the former diverted the funds to another wallet.
When the police arrived, Milton tried to shift the blame claiming he was the victim of the fraud. However, when the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) required both men to hand over their phones, the accused became agitated and refused to do it.
The case is scheduled to continue on August 11th. Interestingly, Milton denied revealing his password to his phone, and police officers were considering hiring experts from abroad that could unlock the device and thus help to solve the issue.