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Crime doesn't pay Irish authorities to transfer $2m in stolen cryptocurrency back to US owners after CAB probe

Freeman had pleaded guilty to knowingly engaging in the possession of the proceeds of crime — namely 142.75682712 Bitcoin.

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Conor Freeman was imprisoned for three years for his role in the online theft of more than $2m worth of Bitcoin Photo: Collins Courts

Conor Freeman was imprisoned for three years for his role in the online theft of more than $2m worth of Bitcoin Photo: Collins Courts

Conor Freeman was imprisoned for three years for his role in the online theft of more than $2m worth of Bitcoin Photo: Collins Courts

Irish authorities are preparing to transfer funds relating to the online theft of over $2 million worth of cryptocurrencies back to its US owners after CAB settled its case against Irish man Conor Freeman.

Freeman, 21, was identified by US securities as having taken part in the thefts and was given a suspended sentence here after pleading guilty to forming part of an online gang.

This week the High Court heard that the value of the Bitcoin had fallen significantly since the case commenced but that a receiver was now ready to pay back the amounts to three victims identified at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court during the case against him.

Following his arrest, Freeman from Glenageary in County Dublin handed over what remained of his share from the theft to gardaí­ which has increased and decreased in value since.

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Conor Freeman (21) of Glenageary Court, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin.

Conor Freeman (21) of Glenageary Court, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin.

Conor Freeman (21) of Glenageary Court, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin.

Freeman had pleaded guilty to knowingly engaging in the possession of the proceeds of crime — namely 142.75682712 Bitcoin.

He further pleaded guilty to stealing $100,000 in cryptocurrency from Darran Marble on May 15th 2018, stealing cryptocurrencies with an approximate value of $1,921,335, from Seth Shapiro on May 16th, 2018, and stealing cryptocurrencies with an approximate value of $167,622.22 from Micheal Templeman on May 18th, 2018.

Justice Alexander Owens said CAB had got consent that their case against Freeman would not be contested and said the money would be now paid out to the victims who thanked the court and the Bureau for all their work in retrieving the funds.

One victim Seth Shapiro, in particular thanked the Bureau for their work. It had earlier been heard that his life savings were taken and the proceeds of the sale of his house were stolen.

During earlier hearings a court was told that Freeman was identified by the United States Department of Homeland Security as being the person behind certain internet handles connected to the offences and was part of a group of people who had met online.

This group identified people on social media who they believed might have access to some amount of cryptocurrency.

The group was able to gain access to the email addresses and phone numbers of these people via social media, which was information needed to commit the crimes.

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