Banksy owner jailed for $7.1 million crypto scam

Two UK men who owned Banksy artwork were jailed on Friday for stealing £5.7 million ($7.1 million) in crypto by using a fake crypto exchange mimicking 

38-year-old Jake Lee and 42-year-old James Heppel used the fake “” site to bait users into entering their login details. With this information, the two gained access to their victim’s crypto and bitcoin wallets and stole their funds.  

According to the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, the pair managed to scam 55 victims in 26 different countries. Police have seized a £60,000 Banksy print, three vehicles, £64,000 in crypto, and £551,000 in a suitcase full of cash from the pair as part of a £835,000 ($1.04 million) seizure. 

The £60,000 Banksy art seized by authorities.

Read more: Cartier jewelry heir arrested for laundering drug money with USDT

Lee was arrested on suspicion of money laundering in 2018, when police seized £24,000 in cash and three laminated Bitcoin wallet recovery seeds. 

Authorities said, “At the same time, our unit had started an investigation into a cryptocurrency scam reported by a Wiltshire victim who had £11,000 worth of Bitcoin from his Blockchain wallet.”

“We took on the investigation into Lee and when we analysed his devices, we established he was a central figure involved in a sophisticated domain spoofing fraud and worked to identify numerous victims.”

The two pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and were sentenced to four years and 15 months respectively last Friday. Lee has been ordered to handover £1 million to victims.

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