Police sell off cryptocurrency seized from TalkTalk hacker Elliott Gunton, in a case that is the first of its kind for a UK police force
Police have auctioned more than £240,000 of cryptocurrency confiscated from Elliott Gunton, a teenaged hacker who recently received a jail sentence for stealing data from internet provider TalkTalk.
The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit said the sale was a first for a UK police force, with currencies auctioned including Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum.
The funds are to go toward fighting crime.
The Metropolitan Police was recently given the go-ahead to sell some £900,000 in Bitcoin seized from hacker Grant West.
Elliott Gunton, 19, of Old Catton, near Norwich, was sentenced to 20 months in prison in August, for offences including hacking and money laundering, but was immediately released as he had served the time whilst on remand.
Gunton was convicted of hacking TalkTalk when he was 16 and was ordered to pay back more than £400,000.
The cryptocurrency assets were sold in small lots by Wilsons Auctions and were all sold to approved bidders in order to ensure the assets would not be misused by criminals.
“Asset recovery in a digital world has evolved, so it’s really important that, working alongside commercial partners, we have a clear process for the storage and sale of cryptocurrency,” said the unit’s Det Ch Insp Martin Peters.
“This goes to show there is no place to hide criminal assets – we are constantly developing our techniques and capabilities to ensure that proceeds of crime are either given back to the rightful owner or, as in this case, are reinvested in crime.”
Gunton had offered to supply stolen personal data for use in carrying out fraud and other crime, and asked to be paid in Bitcoin.
Gunton’s parents, Carlie and Jason, have pleaded guilty to helping Elliott Gunton by moving funds from a seized cryptocurrency wallet.
Carlie Gunton appeared in Norwich Crown Court on Monday to plead guilty to the charge, while Jason Gunton admitted to the same charge in an earlier hearing, as well as to perverting the course of justice.
“Your involvement was down to misguidedly helping your son,” Judge Stephen Holt told Carlie Gunton, the Eastern Daily Press reported.
Both Carlie and Jason are to return to court on Wednesday for sentencing.