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]