UK Court Sentences 4 Men to 15 Years Prison for $26M Crypto Fraud

Four men were sentenced to 15 years in prison by a U.K. court for fraudulently obtaining and laundering bitcoin and other cryptocurrency worth around $26 million from an Australian crypto exchange, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said last week.

Stephen William Boys, Kelly Caton, Jordan Kane Robinson and James Austin-Beddoes were found guilty of fraud, converting and transferring criminal property at Lancashire, U.K.-based Preston Crown Court.

All four men worked with James Parker who "masterminded the conspiracy from his home in Blackpool over a three-month period between October 2017 and January 2018," the statement said.

Parker had exploited a loophole on the trading platform which enabled him and his associates to acquire the funds. Parker died in January 2021.

“These offenders used the internet from the comfort of their own homes to obtain tens of millions of pounds worth of bitcoin which did not belong to them," Jonathan Kelleher of the CPS said.

U.K. crypto fraud climbed by a third to reach over $270 million in one year according to data released in November from U.K. police unit Action Fraud. In January the countries top crime agency put up a job posting for a cryptocurrency investigator and the U.K. police now has crypto experts stationed across the country.

Read more: UK Police Have Crypto Experts Stationed Nationwide