A Malta man has been accused of stealing $700,000 worth of cryptocurrencies from his friend’s mobile wallet while they were having a fun moment. The case, which was brought before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech on Tuesday, saw several charges slammed against the 25-year old accused, Luke John Milton.
Among the charges leveled against Milton include conducting fraud involving over $5,000 in cryptocurrencies, money laundering, violently refusing arrest, theft, as well as other fraudulent activities.
The Unfortunate Incident
Narrating the incident, one of the witnesses, a police sergeant who took the stand against the accused, stated that the victim had called him to show up in the location where the fraud took place, in order to prevent Milton from leaving the scene.
According to the officer, the victim said he transferred $5,000 worth of crypto to Milton in order to receive the fiat equivalent from him. Milton, who wanted to invest in crypto, was alleged to have been in possession of the victim’s mobile phone after the transaction was complete.
On receiving his phone, the victim noted that “he could not believe his eyes” when he saw that a whopping $700,000 in crypto was illegally transferred out of his wallet, with the balance reduced to zero.
Denying the allegations, the accused said he had been the victim of fraud as opposed to the charges leveled against him.
Notably, the police, who were poised to unravel the truth, asked both parties to hand over their phones to prevent any attempt to destroy any evidence. However, Milton refused to oblige as he became infuriated and refused arrest.
In defense of his actions of not submitting his phone as requested, the accused lawyer noted that Milton acted that way because he feared the police might tamper with the device if submitted,
The accused, who later handed the phone to the authorities, was allowed to keep a close watch on it from jail to be assured of its safety. The hearing, which lasted for hours, was adjourned until August 11.
With cryptocurrencies being the rave of the moment, investors are advised to keep their funds safe as criminals are on the lookout for loopholes to steal the asset class.
Several occasions have emerged on how cryptos worth between thousands and millions of United States Dollars (USD) have been stolen from individuals and crypto-related firms. Of all the attacks, most were conducted through sim swap hack methods.
In May last year, a 20-year old Dublin man was accused of perpetrating sim swap hack charges, which saw him cart away $2 million in cryptocurrencies.
Affiliate: Get a Ledger Nano X for $119 So That Hackers Won't Steal Your Crypto!