Kidnappings and assaults to steal crypto are punished

A 24-year-old man from the US state of Florida has been convicted of leading a gang that stole cryptocurrency and also committed kidnappings and assaults.

According to a new press release According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Remy St. Felix of West Palm Beach was the leader of a gang that targeted crypto owners in multiple states between September 2022 and July 2023.

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Burglary and kidnapping

The DOJ reports that St. Felix and his gang burglarized homes, kidnapped the victims and forced them to empty their crypto wallets. Before striking, they hacked into their targets’ email accounts and kept close tabs on the victims.

After stealing the crypto, they laundered the money using privacy-focused crypto like Monero (XMR), decentralized exchanges with no customer verification (KYC) rules, and so-called instant exchanges.

Violence was not shunned

Nicole M. Argentieri, Chief of the DOJ Criminal Division, stated: “St. Felix and his co-conspirators targeted victims throughout the United States for violent burglaries, kidnappings, and robberies to steal cryptocurrency. Despite their efforts to cover their tracks through encrypted communications and anonymous financial transactions, they were not beyond the reach of our dedicated investigators and prosecutors.”

In one case in April 2023, St. Felix and an accomplice broke into a home, tied up the victim with zip ties, held them at gunpoint, and threatened both the victim and their partner while stealing $150,000 in crypto.

St. Felix was arrested in July 2023 while en route to another burglary, the DOJ said. He was convicted of nine charges and faces a minimum sentence of seven years to life in prison.

5 dollar wrench attack

This case highlights the dangers and risks that still exist in the cryptocurrency space, where anonymity and lack of regulation are often abused by criminals. It is a stark reminder that while digital currencies offer many benefits, they also enable new forms of crime that must be taken seriously by both authorities and users.

No matter how good your security is, there is always the risk of a so-called 5 dollar wrench attack. The only way to keep your crypto safe is to Dutch crypto app BLOX.

At BLOX, your crypto account is linked to your own bank account. Cryptos cannot be sent to other addresses and the value of your crypto can only be deposited into your own account.

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