Fraud­ster made thou­sands in Bit­coin scam

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY LYNDA ROUGHLEY vis­iternews@south­portvis­iter.co.uk @Visiter

AFRAUD “as old as the hills but with a mod­ern twist” landed a 23-year-old man in court af­ter he was en­gaged in a Bit­coin scam.

Aaron Brown “was of­fer­ing to sup­ply some­thing he did not have to po­ten­tial buy­ers,” ex­plained Derek Jones, pros­e­cut­ing.

And his lies to Mersey­side po­lice when tracked down meant that they had to contact a US gov­ern­ment ex­pert in Bit­coins which showed his claims were false.

Liver­pool Crown Court heard that a man in Lon­don ad­ver­tised on a bit­coin mes­sage board that he was look­ing to buy some and he was con­tacted on June 10 last year via What­sApp and af­ter con­ver­sa­tions he de­cided he could trust Brown and agreed to hand over £5,000.

“He trans­ferred the cash to a bank ac­count provided by Brown but he failed to for­ward the Bit­coins and fobbed him off for the next cou­ple of weeks be­fore the man went to the po­lice,” said Mr Jones.

On July 3, 2017 another man in Lon­don was put in touch with Brown by a friend and he agreed to come to Liver­pool to meet him with £1,750 cash.

They met in a cafe and he handed the money over which Brown gave to a man with him.

“Then fol­lowed var­i­ous sto­ries about why the Bit­coins had not gone into his ac­count.

“The de­fen­dant said it was some­thing to do with the in­ter­net and asked him to fol­low him to his car and on the way he sim­ply ran off,” said Mr Jones.

When later tracked down Brown told po­lice he had at­tempted to trans­fer the Bit­coins but the US Bit­coin ex­pert told po­lice that was un­true.

Brown, of Beatrice Street, Boo­tle, pleaded guilty to two fraud of­fences.

Trevor Parry-Jones, de­fend­ing, said that they were not so­phis­ti­cated of­fences and he had vol­un­tar­ily gone to the po­lice when he knew he was wanted.

He lives “a chaotic life” but his part­ner is preg­nant and while he is “a weak man” he will sup­port her.

He has men­tal health is­sues but is not cur­rently on med­i­ca­tion.

Judge Alan Con­rad, QC agreed it was not a so­phis­ti­cated of­fence and sen­tenced him to 18 weeks im­pris­on­ment sus­pended for two years and or­dered to carry out 180 hours un­paid work.

Aaron Brown ran off when chal­lenged about the lack of Bit­coin pay­ment into a vic­tim’s ac­count

Bit­coin fraud­ster Aaron Brown ad­mit­ted two of­fences

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