Elliot Gunton, a 19-year-old Bitcoin trading expert, has pleaded guilty to providing personal information and supplying hacking services in exchange for cryptocurrencies.
According to a press release published yesterday by the Norfolk police, Mr. Gunton, who hails from Mounteney Close in Norwich, UK, was apprehended earlier this month in a routine visit to his home due to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order that was imposed on him by a court back in June 2016.
While on the visit, law enforcement agents reportedly found evidence that he had offered to provide online personal data to several people, most likely in a bid to help them with SIM swapping attacks.
In addition to that, they found that he had posted ads for both compromised data and blackhat hacking services, which he was offering for about $3,000. He specifically asked for his payments to be in Bitcoin, as he relied on the crypto asset to help mask his tracks.
In a statement, Detective Sergeant Mark Stratford of the local police department said, “Gunton was exploiting the personal data of innocent businesses and people in order to make a considerable profit, but he did not succeed in hiding all of his ill-gotten gains, which enabled us to seize hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of Bitcoin.”
At press time, police reported that they have successfully been able to monitor and seize up to £275,000 (about $334,000) worth of digital assets that he owns, and they’ve seen some of the conversations which he had with some of his associates, as well as both current and prospective clients.
For instance, in one of his Twitter profiles, he reportedly told another user, “Having lots of money is cool… But having lots of money without people knowing is cooler.”
Gunton was charged with money laundering, breaching his Sexual Harassment Prevention Order, and conducting hacker-related crimes. In addition to that, the Norwich native reportedly confessed to committing hacking crimes against an unnamed account on social media platform Instagram as well.
For his crimes, he has been ordered by the Norwich Crown Court to serve 20 months in prison, as well as to pay back more than £400,000 (over $485,000)
Apart from the charges, the Crown Court has also issued a Community Behavioral Order that will last three and a half years, with conditions including that he must not own or make use of any device that is capable of accessing the Internet apart from one that is issued and being monitored by law enforcement.
More precisely, the Order restricts him from using any form of private browsing, including incognito mode or any other privacy protection measures, along with the Tor browser or a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Gunton must now provide a “verifiable explanation” for the origins of any crypto asset he holds, and he is also restricted from making use of any “cryptocurrency storage address, software wallet, hardware wallet or cryptocurrency exchange address without first informing a police officer […] of said use, and the details of the address.”