An Australian court has sentenced a woman to two years in prison over charges of stealing 100,000 XRP tokens in January 2018. The woman pleaded guilty to the crime in August 2019.
Katherine Nguyen was arrested in 2018 after ten months of investigation into the theft of the XRP tokens, at the time worth just over $380,000. Authorities said she hacked into the email of a 56-year-old man with whom she shared her surname. After locking him out of his email account for two days, she allegedly stole all his XRP tokens. The victim reported the crime to the local police, leading to the first arrest of a digital currency thief months later.
Nguyen who pleaded guilty, is facing two years and three months in prison, a report by Information Age has revealed. Presiding Judge Chris Craigie described his ruling as a “difficult and troubling decision,” saying the theft was out of character for the woman whose references described as generous and hard working.
The 25-year-old will be eligible for parole in October 2021.
Nguyen becomes the first Australian to be sent to prison for digital currency theft. While the country has seen its fair share of digital currency scams, hacks haven’t been as common. In the few hacking cases, authorities haven’t been able to track the perpetrators down.
One of the key reasons the police haven’t had much luck tracking down digital currency hackers is because the victims never report the crimes, the commander of the New South Wales Cybercrime Squad, Matthew Craft believes. Speaking to the outlet, he urged the victims to come forward and assist the police with investigations.
Craft further revealed that some of the crimes are committed by hackers based overseas. This limits the efforts of the Cybercrime Squad as it has no jurisdiction outside Australia.
“Sometimes you do have offenders that are overseas, which means there’s not much law enforcement can do. But unless you report it and we know about it, we’re not in a position to make that determination.”
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