A man who allegedly stole a large amount of cryptocurrency from unsuspecting investors has been indicted in Israel.
The charging of Eliyahu Gigi, a 31-year-old who comes from the city of Tel Aviv, is the subject of many news articles in both the Israeli and the international cryptocurrency press due to the allegations.
It is believed that he stole 6.1 million Israeli shekels, which is equivalent to almost £1.4m British pounds and $1.72m US dollars, from people from across the world.
His alleged victims are believed to have diverse nationality profiles, and some Belgian, German and Dutch people were allegedly targeted.
There was a similar level of diversity involved in the types of cryptocurrency which he allegedly stole. It is believed that he took Ethereum and Bitcoin from traders, as well as the less well-known cryptocurrency known as Dash.
The timeframe of the alleged crimes is uncertain, although it is believed that he was participating in the alleged activity until as recently as June of this year.
It is believed that Gigi set up several web pages as part of his alleged crimes, while he is also believed to have created some form of malicious software which was installed on the computers of alleged victims.
Once it was installed, the software went on to extract amounts of cryptocurrencies. It is also believed that the servers used were specifically designed to cover up any potential tracking of what was occurring.
Gigi now faces a number of charges. He is accused of obvious crimes such as fraud and theft, but he also faces charges of aggravated counterfeiting.
He will also face charges of perjury, using documents which came from forgery, laundering money and breaking the Income Tax Ordinance.
In a reflection of the distinctly technological nature of his alleged crimes, he has also been charged with contravening the country’s Computers Law.
The charges were contained in an indictment which was filed at the Tel Aviv District Court by Yeela Harel from the cyber department in the State Attorney’s Office.
According to press reports, police first found out about the alleged crimes when they were alerted to Gigi’s participation on a number of internet forums.
In a distinct but related accusation, Gigi is believed to have covered up some of his own income too.
He stands accused of lying about how much he had earned in both the 2012 to 2013 financial year and the 2015 to 2016 financial year. The amount he covered up is believed to be of six figures.
Gigi is already in custody, and the charge is the latest twist in a saga that has gone on for months.
When he was first apprehended by law enforcement officers, his 22-year-old brother was also taken into custody.
At that time, it was believed that the pair were responsible for a much larger amount of fraud totalling the equivalent of around $100 million US dollars.
However, the charges were later amended, and the latest charge has confirmed the figure of around six million shekels.
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