The US wants to extradite a British man accused of stealing $8.5 million of crypto from an American citizen

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The US wants to extradite a British man accused of stealing $8.5 million of crypto from an American citizen
Bitcoin's price has nearly doubled during 2021.Edward Smith/Getty Images
  • A British man is facing extradition to the US for helping to hack an American man's crypto wallet, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
  • The man is accused of being part of a hacking group called "The Community" when he was 18 years old.

A 22-year-old British man is facing extradition to the US in a case accusing him of stealing bitcoin as part of a wider hacking ring, according to a Bloomberg report Tuesday.

A ring of hackers called the "The Community" allegedly hijacked the identities of US citizens to steal more than $50 million in cryptocurrencies between 2017 and 2018. Corey De Rose is facing extradition as he is being accused of aiding in the hack of an American man's crypto wallet in 2017, when De Rose was 18.

US lawyers at a London court hearing on Monday said he helped transfer crypto from the man's digital wallet to himself and his co-conspirators. De Rose was accused of receiving 108.18 bitcoins in the theft. The digital currency was valued at around $300,000 at the time, the report said.

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De Rose's lawyers said no harm came to the alleged victim because the man was found to have illegally sold it into the market. The American was "found to be so crooked" that the cryptocurrency has no value, Edward Fitzgerald, De Rose's lawyer, said in court, according to the report.

But just because the victim fell afoul of the US Securities and Exchange Commission doesn't "allow Mr. Rose and his friends to act as Robin Hood" and take the man's assets for their gain, said Peter Caldwell, a lawyer for the UK's Crown Prosecution Service. "This is a very serious fraud," he said.

De Rose's lawyers said he should stand trial in the UK rather than being extradited because a substantial portion of his alleged crimes took place in the UK.

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