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Police have seized more than £2 million in cryptocurrency from a 17-year-old who set up a 'sophisticated cyber fraud' website.
The teen, who can't be named for legal reasons, used the fake site to scam people who used a digital gift voucher website to input their personal details, the BBC reports.
He managed to steal £6,500 of vouchers and used the money to buy cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, which has since massively increased in value.
Lincoln Crown Court heard the teen created a fake website designed to look like the legit gift voucher website of Love2Shop in April last year.
He then paid to advertise his fake site on Google, meaning it appeared high in the ranking when people searched for the genuine website.
Sam Skinner, prosecuting said: "People were duped into clicking on his website thinking they were accessing the official site."
The boy took the site down after a week, just as Love2Shop had begun to investigate the fake following a complaint.
The police investigation revealed he had more than 12,000 credit card numbers stored on his computer and he had 197 PayPal accounts, LincolnshireLive reports.
Mr Skinner said: "He had received through his PayPal accounts between January and March 2020 a total of £323,000. These sums came into his account and were transferred into cryptocurrency.
"The police found a large quantity of cryptocurrency.
"There were 48 Bitcoins and a smaller number of other coins. At the time they were worth £200,000. They are now worth a little over £2 million."
The teen, who is studying for his A Levels, admitted charges of money laundering and fraud totalling £6,539 by false representation.
In mitigation, Nicola Hornby told the court the teeanger had no prior convcitions and had kept himself out of his trouble since his arrest.
She said he had 'matured' since he carried out the crimes, and is now focussing on his A Levels,
Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight ruled that the teen had benefited £2,141,720 from his crimes and ordered that amount to be confiscated from his assets.
She said: "You have a long-standing interest in computers. Unfortunately, you used your skills to commit a sophisticated fraud."
Judge Knight also warned: "If he was an adult he would be going inside."
The boy was given a 12-month rehabilitation order and will carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
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