Grant West, 26, sent emails from the mobile home in Sherness, Kent, pretending to come from ‘Just Eat’
A cyber criminal nicknamed ‘Courvoisier’ has been ordered to pay back the £900,000 cryptocurrency fortune he made operating a phishing scam from a caravan.
Grant West, 26, sent emails from the mobile home in Sheeerness, Kent, pretending to come from ‘Just Eat’ to trick users into handing over their personal data.
When police raided the caravan they found 78 million individual usernames and passwords and 63,000 credit and debit card details stored on an SD card.
West drove a £40,000 Audi A5 coupé and blew some of his fortune on a gambling trip to Las to Vegas.
He thought his fortune was safely stashed in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but the money was confiscated in the first operation of its kind by the Met Police.
The emails sent between August and December 2015 offered his victims a free voucher if they completed a series of questions.
He carried out the attacks from a laptop belonging to his girlfriend, Rachael Brookes.
He also stored personal financial information, also known as ‘fullz’, belonging to more than 100,000 people on the device.
‘Phishing scam’ emails would be sent out (pictured) asking customers to confirm details
Once he had his victims’ personal details, West, using the nickname Courvoisier – the name of a popular French cognac – sold them on the dark web marketplace site Alpha Bay.
West, who lived at the Ashcroft caravan park in Sheerness was jailed for more than 10 years in May.
Southwark Crown Court heard today the value of the cryptocurrency seized had gone down from £1.6m in May to around £900,000.
Prosecutor Kevin Barry said: ‘The most substantial part of the assets is in the form of crypto currency.
Screengrabs show his adverts for personal financial information online
‘They have been taken from accounts in his control and put into accounts controlled by the authorities,’ he added.
‘There is no suggestion he has control of any of the assets.’
Mr Barry told the court that some of the currency could be sold but £200,000 is currently under the control of the FBI.
The amount sought in compensation for the individuals and business affected is £922,000, the prosecutor said.
Judge Joanna Corner QC said: ‘The benefit is assessed at £922,978.14.
Operating under the pseudonym ‘Courvoisier’, West would sell personal data on the dark web
‘The realisable amount is the identical figure.
‘I therefore order confiscation of that amount, £915,305.77, to be paid by way of confiscation to losers or be jailed for four years.’
West admitted conspiracy to defraud, two counts of money laundering, unauthorised modification of computer material, possession with intent to supply cannabis, possession of cannabis, attempting to supply a controlled drug, offering to supply cannabis and concealing criminal property from the UK.
He was jailed for ten years and eight months.
Head of the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit, Detective Chief Inspector Kirsty Goldsmith, said: ‘The MPS is committed to ensuring that individuals who are committing criminality on the Dark Web are identified, prosecuted and their criminal assets are seized.
‘I wish to thank our partners within the MPS and in both public and private industry who have all assisted with this investigation which was incredibly complex and lengthy.
‘I am very proud of my team for bringing this offender to justice and ensuring we have secured this order.’