Queensland Man Charged With Stealing $110,000 In Bitcoin

A 21-year-old man from the small town of Kingaroy in inland Queensland has been arrested and charged with the theft of $110,000 in Bitcoin, only three months after he was first arrested for hacking a US gaming company's computer network.

Image credit: Queensland Police Service

According to a statement from the Queensland Police Service, the man was arrested in Hervey Bay on the Queensland coast and charged with tainted property and breach of bail offences, and the $110,000 worth of Bitcoin — it is unclear whether it was still in the man's possession or had been exchanged for Australian currency — will be considered the proceeds of crime.

The hacker is the same man who was charged by Queensland Police, working with the FBI, in March for hacking an officially-unnamed US gaming company. That company is believed to be Riot Games, which in August 2013 was forced to reset League of Legends player passwords in North America and announce that 120,000 transaction records and credit card data were stolen.

At current exchange rates through CoinMill, $110,000 buys roughly 180 Bitcoin, although the digital currency's price fluctuates significantly. If the Bitcoin were "obtained" in early March before the man's original charging its value could have been as much as $130,000 at the time.

It's not immediately clear what will happen to the Bitcoin, if it is still in its original digital form. It could possibly be returned to the rightful owner, or could be sold off with proceeds funnelled into the Queensland consolidated revenue fund. The US Department of Justice is preparing to auction off approximately 29,000 Bitcoin it seized in the Silk Road raid, which could net it nearly $17 million that goes directly to Treasury coffers; it holds still 144,000 more previously owned by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, aka 'Dread Pirate Roberts'.

Kingaroy, the "peanut capital of Australia" and the home town of former Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and current deputy PM Warren Truss, has a population of about 10,000. It's hooked up to ADSL2+ and 3G cellular data, although it's also just been connected to the NBN with a fixed wireless Internet link. [Queensland Police Service]


Comments

    Thanks for the technology profile of Kingaroy haha.

      I was genuinely interested whether it had access to ADSL2+, then things kinda spiraled from there :)

        Would of been difficult trying to steal bitcoins on a 56k modem!

          We do have ADSL2+ here in Kingaroy. We're not allowed to have naked ADSL2+ services though, we have to pay extra to have a phone line that we never use.
          I get a piddling 14Mbps here, and a ping that has made me stop playing online RPG's.

    If you're dumb enough to store that much money in bitcoins, then you deserve it to be stolen.

      Firstly the article doesn't state that the Bitcoins were stolen from a single user so it could be the sum of all the stolen Bitcoins from various sources. Secondly these Bitcoins could have been bought when they were worth cents.

    I didn't believe the Governments of the world considered BitCoin to be a 'legit' currency.
    So how is that someone can be charged for theft of something the Governments consider has no value?

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