Fraudster made thousands in Bitcoin scam
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