German Authorities Finally Seize the “Movie2K” Crypto-Assets

By Bill Toulas / August 6, 2020

Movie2K used to be one of Germany’s most popular pirate platforms, making millions in Bitcoin from advertisers and subscribers. In 2013, right before the growing legal pressure forced the platform to shut down operations, Movie2k was generating more traffic than Amazon and Twitter.

The years passed by, pirates moved elsewhere, but the law enforcement authorities never forgot about Movie2K. After all, its operators became rich thanks to it, distributing 880,000 copies of copyright-protected movies between 2008 and 2013. So, the German police kept on looking for them - and last year, they managed to track them down.

In November 2019, three men were arrested under suspicion of being the defunct Movie2K platform operators. Two of them were eventually charged with money laundering offenses, fraud, and intellectual property infringements. Apparently, the two individuals managed to collect 22,000 Bitcoin back when the crypto was worth pennies.

The men kept the amount until 2012, when they began converting it into cash, buying mostly property. The third individual that was arrested and then released was the real estate agent that assisted the operators in buying these properties using Bitcoin.

When the programmer felt that the police were on his tracks, he attempted to go on a spending spree, moving crypto in hidden and locked wallets or freezing them. What was left for the law enforcement authorities to seize, besides the properties, was crypto worth nearly $30 million, which the Dresden Prosecutor’s Office managed to take hold of thanks to forensic experts’ help from the FBI.

The amount was in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, but the arrested individuals may have more money in other, non-traceable formats. Still, the figures are impressive, and they are further magnified by the rise of crypto values in the past years.

What this story proves is that if you have made a lot of money illegally, the law enforcement authorities won’t forget about you even after many years. Secondly, according to the prosecutors, most of the money made by Movie2K was by locking its subscribers in fraudulent “traps” with fake contracts with hard to understand terms.

All in all, this is not a good ending for either the operators or the users of Movie2K, proving once again why you should pass such offerings in favor of legal platforms.

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