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Author Topic: Man arrested in Germany keeps $60 Million dollars in Bitcoin from the police  (Read 315 times)
KonstantinosM
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February 06, 2021, 03:06:38 PM
 #1

There it is.  They can't seize the money because they can't get the password. Apparently the police has somehow made sure that he can't access his funds.

I wouldn't be so sure, all he needs is a backup of his wallet, but maybe he skipped on that little detail. He supposedly served a 2 year sentence and is now free.

Some Articles:

The reuters one has more details.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crypto-currency-germany-password/police-seize-60-million-of-bitcoin-now-wheres-the-password-idINKBN2A511T
https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2021/2/5/22268646/german-police-bitcoin-digital-wallet-missing-password
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February 06, 2021, 03:46:47 PM
 #2

They can't seize the money because they can't get the password. Apparently the police has somehow made sure that he can't access his funds.

I wouldn't be so sure, all he needs is a backup of his wallet

I've seen so many silly (to say it nice) tweets on this topic, it really gives quite a dimension for how little is the group of those understanding Bitcoin.
I am really curious what will happen if those funds will disappear some day in the direction of a mixer.

The only .. problem is that far too few are keeping multiple copies / backups for the wallet and there's a good chance he indeed doesn't have a backup. Or does he? Time will tell  Smiley

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February 06, 2021, 04:01:32 PM
 #3

I'm just curious too how did they ensure that the fraudster can't access his Bitcoin, they don't know if that fraudster has backup seeds on that wallet and it seems they don't know how Bitcoin works.  Look, the fraudster didn't give the password because he knows that someday he will be able to recover and use the Bitcoin mixing service to untraced the transaction.

Probably one day, the confiscated amount of Bitcoin might transfer into other wallets.  I don't think the word "confiscate" is accurate to this, since the German prosecutors didn't own the keys, it means they don't actually hold the Bitcoin.  Unless, if the police will order all exchange and mixing service to block the Bitcoin address where Bitcoin was stored and marked scam address, there's a chance maybe that the fraudster can't access his Bitcoin.

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February 06, 2021, 04:05:05 PM
 #4

His biggest problem when he gets out of jail will be how to explain to some bad guys that he forgot his password - and I'm sure many will be interested in talking to him a little bit. I believe they have very convincing methods to extract the truth, whatever the truth may be.

What is not very clear to me is this part of the article :

The fraudster had been sentenced to more than two years in jail for covertly installing software on other computers to harness their power to “mine” or produce bitcoin.

Well, most people know that mining BTC with ordinary computers does not make sense for at least 7 or more years in the past - so the question is how did he manage to mine even 1700 BTC in that way?

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February 06, 2021, 04:35:46 PM
 #5

Quote
Well, most people know that mining BTC with ordinary computers does not make sense for at least 7 or more years in the past - so the question is how did he manage to mine even 1700 BTC in that way?
Volume maybe. Some time ago I was using a free anti virus from a big name company and often it just loaded the CPU to 99% for no reason for extended periods of time. Most likely it was some bug, but who knows?

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February 06, 2021, 04:38:45 PM
 #6

They can't seize the money because they can't get the password. Apparently the police has somehow made sure that he can't access his funds.

I wouldn't be so sure, all he needs is a backup of his wallet

The police don't even need the backup. All they need to do is to threaten the dude with a far longer sentence, enough to scare the dude to hand over access. Dude's actually lucky that this is in Germany; if it was in a 3rd world country with a unethical and immoral government, I wouldn't even be surprised if torture is going to be their option.

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February 06, 2021, 04:43:27 PM
 #7


They can't seize the money because they can't get the password. Apparently the police has somehow made sure that he can't access his funds.

I wouldn't be so sure, all he needs is a backup of his wallet

The police don't even need the backup. All they need to do is to threaten the dude with a far longer sentence, enough to scare the dude to hand over access. Dude's actually lucky that this is in Germany; if it was in a 3rd world country with a unethical and immoral government, I wouldn't even be surprised if torture is going to be their option.

Torture wouldn't be necessary. There are better ways than just make him talk.

It would be too good to think police wouldn't go over to this computer and personal file to find some clue or back up there. They may even go beyond like check out his email. Computer forensics can definitely do miracles if for instance he once backedup his wallet. They won't let that $60M just pass by their hands and just quit, that's too easy for this fraudster.

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February 06, 2021, 04:50:34 PM
 #8

Torture wouldn't be necessary. There are better ways than just make him talk.

It would be too good to think police wouldn't go over to this computer and personal file to find some clue or back up there. They may even go beyond like check out his email. Computer forensics can definitely do miracles if for instance he once backedup his wallet. They won't let that $60M just pass by their hands and just quit, that's too easy for this fraudster.

It's going to completely depend on the person; obviously, we really don't know him personally and to what extent will he refuse to hand over access to the coins.

As for digging up his computer, well, it's a safe assumption that if the dude was smart enough to take advantage of the available devices, he's probably smart enough to not keep a backup(or an unencrypted backup) on his computer. But then again, we barely know anything about how smart the dude is so we're really just speculating.

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February 06, 2021, 04:59:20 PM
 #9

His biggest problem when he gets out of jail will be how to explain to some bad guys that he forgot his password - and I'm sure many will be interested in talking to him a little bit. I believe they have very convincing methods to extract the truth, whatever the truth may be.

Well the fraudster could simply lie to the bad guys that he already said the password to the police and he no longer has access to the bitcoins.
He could simply move his bitcoins to a new address before lying to the bad guys about it.
Then run away to another country where nobody would know him and then enjoy the rest of his life with the $60 million.
Sounds like a movie  Grin

Quote
What is not very clear to me is this part of the article :

The fraudster had been sentenced to more than two years in jail for covertly installing software on other computers to harness their power to “mine” or produce bitcoin.

Well, most people know that mining BTC with ordinary computers does not make sense for at least 7 or more years in the past - so the question is how did he manage to mine even 1700 BTC in that way?

That's what I was thinking. Probably it's a made up article but why would anybody such a thing

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February 06, 2021, 05:25:48 PM
 #10

What is not very clear to me is this part of the article :

The fraudster had been sentenced to more than two years in jail for covertly installing software on other computers to harness their power to “mine” or produce bitcoin.

There was quite a long period (I don't know if there still is) when this was going very well with altcoins, especially Monero, which can be exchanged for Bitcoin and the mining pool may even do that automatically.
Maybe this is what he did, but ... I hope that you don't expect them understand all these details...  Smiley

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February 06, 2021, 05:27:49 PM
 #11

Unfortunately in this case, "not your keys, not your Bitcoin" is still very relevant.

Quote
“We asked him but he didn’t say,” prosecutor Sebastian Murer told Reuters on Friday. “Perhaps he doesn’t know.”

That sounds like they took the scammers excuse, although they cant force him to divulge.

Maybe they are getting a cut of the 1700 when its sent through a mixer ?

Honestly speaking, that's the only choice of the police to close this case if they are just following the procedure. There's no why that they can access the wallet of the suspect without doing it by force which is not permissible by the law. Making a fake conclusion will make there job easy and move on.

But one thing I'm sure. The suspect will give some share the officer handling his case once his case dissolved same as your theory above.

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February 06, 2021, 06:21:13 PM
 #12

This story reminds me of the person who has bitcoin in a wallet worth millions but can not access it and only had two tries left to guess what their password was to this wallet long forgotten. Embarrassed
Wonder what happened to that guy. Did he lock up the wallet with his last two tries?
This criminal didn't forget his password and just used the wallet as a keep-safe device from law enforcement agencies for gaining access to his illicit funds.
I believe it to be the main thing to take from this story.

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bekti3
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February 06, 2021, 06:40:14 PM
 #13

free under any conditions, I think this kind of crime needs to be done by various methods so that he is not free to roam around and look for victims to be deceived again. So if he didn't say the password, how could he be so easily released? isn't this sort of thing for the police to have a variety of methods for dealing with each different case.

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hatshepsut93
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February 06, 2021, 07:06:32 PM
 #14

How can police claim that they have seized his coins if they can't access them? Not your keys = not your coins. Having encrypted wallet file means nothing, the criminal could have other copies of it stored elsewhere, and he can have backup seeds or paper wallets or other forms of the private keys. It's even more stupid if the police doesn't even know what are his addresses - in this case the criminal could have moved the coins years ago.

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BlackHatCoiner
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February 06, 2021, 09:26:23 PM
 #15

There it is.  They can't seize the money because they can't get the password. Apparently the police has somehow made sure that he can't access his funds.
They can't make sure that he can't access his funds, but they can threaten him in case there will be a spending transaction from his address(es). For example, if he moves the coins, he gets into trouble. It's a loss for him, not for the police. Except if he's planning to be gone for good now that he's free.

I'm just curious too how did they ensure that the fraudster can't access his Bitcoin, they don't know if that fraudster has backup seeds on that wallet and it seems they don't know how Bitcoin works.
As I said above, they didn't, but they can track the address. If he moves coins, he can be arrested. The problem is that there are misunderstandings when police comes across with bitcoin. In my country, transacting bitcoins isn't illegal, but neither legal. It's just too complicated.

Unless, if the police will order all exchange and mixing service to block the Bitcoin address where Bitcoin was stored and marked scam address, there's a chance maybe that the fraudster can't access his Bitcoin.
LOL! If we exclude the fact that this can't happen since there isn't a government that rules all governments, that would be a penalty for the exchanges/mixers that are not on the same country of this occurrence. Not sure, but this is the same reason why VPN business is considered legal. They've built/made their company on a place where laws aren't strict.

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February 06, 2021, 09:31:51 PM
 #16

"Maybe he doesn't know", the prosecutor says  Grin. Without the password, they won't be opening that over 1700 bitcoins, and why would they want to open it in the first place? They already knew the amount, that is enough, right? It seems they have another plan about it knowing for a fact that the price of bitcoin increased massively over the past month.
Lanatsa
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February 06, 2021, 09:52:18 PM
 #17

There it is.  They can't seize the money because they can't get the password. Apparently the police has somehow made sure that he can't access his funds.

I wouldn't be so sure, all he needs is a backup of his wallet, but maybe he skipped on that little detail. He supposedly served a 2 year sentence and is now free.

2 years imprison isn't really just too long for you to survive on rather than man choses on that consequence rather than on handling out this $60M to the police or government.

This is the beauty of crypto on where no one can force you to give your keys if you don't like to even if they would crack out that hell of the brain of yours to get those is impossible.

This is one of the things on where government do hate most on where decentralization and anonymity do rocks.  Cool

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GeorgeJohn
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February 06, 2021, 09:56:26 PM
 #18

Actually what he did does not required arrest because the money belong to him,and no one knows how it generate the money, but the process whereby the money is a government money which the man personally embezzled  it in form of personal money I think it deserved arrest, now understanding these from another perspective using $60 million to purchase bitcoin is am investment that can multiple such money twice in the next two or three years, which it's difficult to find a investing platform that can such put in return such amount of money within such space of time, so from my understanding the man is a wise man by using such amount of finance into cryptocurrency.

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February 06, 2021, 09:58:07 PM
 #19

Don't they wannta taste truth serum on him? They invented so much medicines back in world war 2, I guess they should have some truth serums among perviton and other things to catch spys and get the truth from them. Before going into debates, don't call me a scifi person and truth serum isn't a fake thing. The idea behind this is to A, make a person so high and careless that he/she won't be able to hide the truth easily or B, it suppresses the higher cortical functions.

Btw this is the biggest positive side of bitcoin and I was always saying that. If something happens, not this case but for example - you are unable to fully cover the lone from bank or etc, they can easily block your account and take all the money. In case of bitcoin, you are the bank, the untouchable owner.


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February 06, 2021, 11:24:08 PM
 #20

There it is.  They can't seize the money because they can't get the password. Apparently the police has somehow made sure that he can't access his funds.

I wouldn't be so sure, all he needs is a backup of his wallet, but maybe he skipped on that little detail. He supposedly served a 2 year sentence and is now free.
I have read this article about a scammers sentenced to jail and now he is released but the authorities are not able to access the bitcoin because he forgot his password. The fact is that he already completed his jail term and if he is not going to provide the password then there is no way they are going to unlock it and from the article they think that he cannot do anything with the coins since the wallet is in their custody Cheesy.
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