You hear stories of these mastermind criminals who have tonnes of Bitcoin stashed away, ready to be sold at the end of their sentence. Obviously, there’s not a lot you can do with your crypto when you’re in jail, until now that is.
In a historical move, one that may well shake the foundations of the law in the future, a judge in San Francisco has agreed to accept a bail payment from a cyber criminal in Bitcoin.
The criminal, Martin Marisch was initially charged with hacking the video games producer – Electronic Arts. Through these hacks, Marisch was able to locate and retail the personal details of over 25,000 customers. It is alleged that Marisch then intended to use these records to illicit some form of financial gain however he was in turn caught before any further damage could be done.
The judge in question, Jacqueline Corley is a federal judge within San Francisco and has agreed to accept a payment of $750,000.00 in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to cover the cost of Marisch’s bail payment. The courts understand that that cryptocurrency is volatile and thus have noted that the payment price may change on a daily basis, in case there are any sudden price movements that could in turn allow Marisch to get away with paying a significant amount.
According to The Next Web, the acceptance of this payment actually makes perfect sense:
“US assistant district attorney, Abraham Simmons, said that judges are afforded a broad spectrum of discretion when it comes to enforcing bail payments. They can in many ways be tailored to the assets that the defendant has access to, such things as real estate or cars could also be enforced as collateral against bail payments. Simmons also stated that he doesn’t believe it is the first time a judge may have ordered cryptocurrency as bail payment.”
See the full article for yourself, here.
This is quite important, because in some respects, many would assume that their crypto portfolio is safe from law enforcement, especially in the instance they end up going to prison. What this proves is that even cryptocurrency holdings aren’t above the law, if you have crypto and the law enforcement find a way to get hold of it, they will.
Bail payments are one thing, but as I said, this could shake legal foundations and perhaps inspire other policy makers to look into how cryptocurrencies could stand for other similar payments such as the settlement of fines and debts worldwide.