A New York man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges in connection with the theft of $1.8 million worth of ether.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement published on Wednesday that Louis Meza, who was accused of kidnapping an unnamed individual in New York last year and stealing their ether holdings, admitted to grand larceny in the first degree and kidnapping in the second degree.
Meza was arrested in December after allegedly forcing the victim to hand over a cell phone, wallet and keys at gunpoint last November, as previously reported by CoinDesk.
Vance said in the statement:
"Meza orchestrated a 21st-century stick-up. Then 21st-century investigators brought him swiftly to justice, securing a landmark conviction in an undeveloped area of the law. Since 2010, my Office's Cybercrime & Identity Theft Bureau has developed the expertise and technology to become a national leader in cybercrime prosecution and prevention, as underlined by this conviction and recovery of funds on the survivor's behalf."
While the Manhattan DA's website states that Meza "is expected to be sentenced on September 27," the Wall Street Journal reported that Meza agreed to a 10-year prison sentence under the terms of his plea deal. A judge will confirm or modify the sentence during a hearing later this month.
Authorities used video surveillance to confirm that Meza entered the victim's home using the stolen keys, before exiting with a box believed to have held the victim's digital wallet.
Meza was originally charged with criminal possession of stolen property, computer tampering, computer trespass and criminal use of a firearm on top of the charges to which he pleaded guilty.
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