Cryptocurrency Theft – Man Who Allegedly Stole $1.8 Million ETH Indictedbr>
A New Jersey man has been indicted for stealing $1.8 million worth of ether, the cryptocurrency of the ethereum network.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said that Louis Meza, 35, was charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with grand larceny in the first degree, kidnapping in the second degree, robbery in the first degree and criminal use of a firearm in the first degree, among other charges.
Prosecutors allege that Meza lured a friend into a minivan, where a gunman demanded his keys, his phone, and the 24-word passphrase to open his cryptocurrency wallet. Meza then allegedly went to the man’s home and stole items, including a ledger, and transferred $1.8 million in ether into his own account.
Vance said video surveillance later obtained from the victim’s apartment building showed Meza using the set of keys stolen from the victim to enter the victim’s apartment and then leave the apartment holding a box believed to contain the victim’s cryptocurrency wallet information.
“Hackers, data breaches, and fraud aren’t the only threats to an individual’s wealth,” said Vance. “This case demonstrates the increasingly common intersection between cyber and violent crime—the defendant is charged with coordinating an elaborate kidnapping, armed robbery, and burglary to gain access to the victim’s digital wallet and the significant funds it contained. We can expect this type of crime to become increasingly common as cryptocurrency values surge upward.”