Another instance of bitcoin crime is in the books. This time, the culprit is potentially a Russian man named Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov who sought to pay the employee of a Nevada-based company $1 million in bitcoin to install malware onto the company’s network.
Kriuchkov Is Currently Being Held to Await Trial
Kriuchkov entered the United States on a tourist visa and through a Russian passport. He initially met with the employee of the company several times before initiating the plan, according to a statement issued by the Department of Justice. The organization explains:
Kriuchkov promised to pay the employee $1 million after the malware was introduced. In furtherance of the conspiracy, Kriuchkov provided the employee with a burner phone and instructed him to leave the burner phone in airplane mode until after the money was transferred.
Things didn’t quite work out according to plan, as the employee was quick to notify the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) about the circumstances. The organization then contacted the 27-year-old Russian conspirator, who ultimately fled from Las Vegas, Nevada to Los Angeles, California upon being contacted about information regarding the incident. He then requested a fellow associated to purchase an airplane ticket for him so that he could exit the country.
Kriuchkov and his fellow conspirators initially sought to install the malware onto the company’s network so that they could gain control of it. From there, they would threaten the company and pledge to make whatever customer data it held public unless it forked out the ransom they were requesting.
Egor has since been charged with one count of conspiracy to “intentionally cause damage to a protected computer,” according to the Department of Justice’s official statement. An arrest was made on August 22 of this year in L.A. He has already appeared in court for an initial hearing and has since been detained to await his upcoming trial.
The Department of Justice asserts:
The charges and allegations contained in a complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Will Bitcoin Crime Ever End?
Bitcoin tends to attract crime of all kinds throughout the globe. Among the most recent cases involved a Twitter scam that saw the hijacking of several high-profile accounts including former president Barack Obama, his vice president Joe Biden, Microsoft founder and exec Bill Gates and SpaceX and Tesla head Elon Musk. These accounts were riddled with false messages that promised to double all digital money that was sent to anonymous bitcoin addresses.
However, the money was not doubled. It was simply sent into the hands of those who had overtaken the accounts. Overall, roughly $121,000 in bitcoin was taken from unsuspecting victims. Graham Clark – a 17-year-old with a history of pulling stunts like this in the past – has since been arrested and charged with the crime.
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