Three Russians will spend time in a high-security prison for stealing over US$1 million in cryptocurrency from another man. The court also ordered them to pay full damages to the victims, prosecutors said.
Robbers Sentenced to Prison for Cryptocurrency Theft in Russia
A court in Omsk, Russia, has issued a verdict in the criminal case of three men from Moscow who robbed a Siberian man of a large sum of digital currency. Two of them were found guilty of robbery and document forgery, while the third was found guilty of fraud.
In July 2021, they learned that a resident of Omsk was in possession of a large crypto fund. They traveled all the way from the capital to the Siberian city and followed the victim for about 10 days, studying his movements and daily life.
On the day of the crime, they stopped the man on the street, presented him with a fake ID, and forced him into a car. They then took 3 million rubles ($40,000) in cash and forced him to transfer another 84 million rubles ($1.1 million) in cryptocurrency, the regional prosecutor’s office detailed in apress release.
The robbers were subsequently taken into police custody, but did not plead guilty. According to the court’s ruling, they will now serve six and a half to nine years in a strict correctional colony. The court also ordered them to compensate the victims for the damage they caused.
In Russia, prosecution of those responsible for crypto-related crimes has increased in recent years; in mid-February, Russian crypto media reported that two residents of another Siberian city, Tomsk, will be tried for “large-scale robbery” involving the theft of about $5 million worth of cryptocurrency from a local miner In July 2021, masked and armed men robbed a large crypto-mining facility near Moscow.
Russia is still pondering how to regulate decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and financial regulations imposed during the invasion of Ukraine have given impetus to efforts to adopt rules for related activities and transactions. Currently, the Russian parliament is debating a bill on digital currency mining that would also address crypto exchange and cross-border payments. Cryptocurrencies have long been recognized as property.
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