Last year in November, 35 year old Louis Meza kidnapped his friend with the help of three gang members to steal the victim’s crypto holdings. In December 2017, Meza was charged with kidnapping and robbing the victim by Manhattan prosecutors. At that time, video footage of the incident was used to capture Meza, however, the rest of the suspects were nowhere to be found.
This week, however, the New York Daily News reported that Bronx biker gang members Cesar Guzman (Fuego), Allan Nunez (Joker) and Darrell Colon (Bishop) were prosecuted for helping Meza in the ether heist.
According to Assistant District Attorney James Vinocur, Meza chose the victim while Guzman recruited the other two members.
Meza asked the victim to enter the minivan posing as an Uber. Once the individual stepped into the vehicle, they were held at gunpoint by Colon who was hiding behind the rear seat of the car. Nunez was responsible for driving the car until the victim revealed their ethereum wallet’s password to the criminals. After about two hours, the individual gave in and surveillance cameras captured Guzman and Mez entering the victim’s house and stealing $2 million worth of ether.
Luckily, law enforcement officers were able to retrieve majority of the cryptocurrency. Rob Georges, Guzman’s attorney, argued that Guzman worked for charity in Bronx and presented a document proving his “good character” from the member of the City Council. He added that Guzman should receive minimum bail because even Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer charged with rape and sexual assault, had to pay a small amount of bail from his net income. The three gang members plead not guilty to the accusations and are being held on $50,000 bail per person.
Crypto-related crimes have increased with time – from demanding cryptocurrency by hacking into banks to sending phishing emails and selling user information — criminals are constantly trying to find different ways to trick people.
Speaking about the relation between these attacks and cryptocurrency’s price change, Cyrus Roberts Vance Jr., New York County District Attorney, said, “Investors aren’t the only ones tracking the fluctuating values of digital currencies — everyone from sophisticated cybercriminals to old-school shakedown-and-stick-up scammers are keeping a close eye, too.”