9 Year Sentence Handed Down to Darknet Marketplace Owner

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Czech Republic courts saw a bit of a win earlier against Darknet marketplaces and their illicit activities when they sentenced a 25 year old man, Tomáš Jiříkovský, to nine years in prison. Tomáš Jiříkovský, the creator, owner and operator of the Darknet site called Sheep Marketplace, is at the center of a theft scandal.

In what they call an “exit scam”, Tomáš Jiříkovský, was able to work within the website’s administrative tools to steal a large amount of bitcoins from the marketplace’s users. The amount stolen totaled to more than $731k in American dollars, or 16 million Kč aka Czech crowns, but he continues to adamantly deny the allegations.

While it has been discovered that Jiříkovský is the site’s owner, he refuses to acknowledge he is the actual owner. Instead, he is claiming that he is merely a software developer hired by Sheep Marketplace but computer records and other data collected tell a different story to authorities.

The crime itself is pretty seedy considering he stole money from those using his marketplace on the Darknet but the story has a bit of a backstory. In 2013, two men from Florida, USA, were able to successfully breach the source code to the Sheep Marketplace and essentially hack the system.

Procured through their hacking was 5,400 bitcoins, which translates to being worth about $4.5M in U.S. currency. The theft was officially announced to the marketplace’s users and was a considerable blow to the site’s financial well-being

Jiříkovský was able to make off with the rest of the website’s funds afterwards. It is believed that he orchestrated this exit scam because of the previous security breach and subsequent theft from the two Florida men. While the original theft by the Floridian men is unrelated, it most certainly was the catalyst to Jiříkovský pulling the plug and running off with all of the money in the site’s system.

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