Two men who conned a man into handing over £5,000 in a bitcoin scam at a City of London hotel have been sentenced.
Samuel Billions, 25, of Victoria Park Road, Hackney, London, and Samuel Oluwasegun, 24, of Doria Drive, Gravesend, conspired to falsely lead the victim to believe that he was purchasing bitcoins from them.
The pair were sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on September 22, 2021. Billions was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months, given a 12 week curfew order and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £90. Oluwasegun was ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months and must also pay a victim surcharge of £90.
Detective Constable Ufuk Ekbic, from City of London Police, said:
“Billions and Oluwasegun conspired to trick the victim into thinking they were going to receive a deal on bitcoins, but the reality was it was all an elaborate lie to get the victim to hand over his money. These two criminals will now pay the price for their dishonesty.
“If someone offers you something which seems like it is too good to be true, the chances are it probably is. Always stop and take a moment to think before parting with your money or information as it could keep you safe and protect you from criminals carrying out fraud.”
Billions, who used bitcoin trading websites, had contacted the victim to set up the trap, but the victim met Oluwasegun at a hotel in the City of London on October 19, 2019.
The victim went to the hotel thinking that he was purchasing bitcoins at an agreed exchange rate and he was told by Oluwasegun, who he had had no previous contact with, that he was there to collect the cash so that the bitcoin transfer could take place.
The victim handed over £5,000 in cash before Oluwasegun ran from the hotel and no bitcoins were ever transferred to him. Billions did not meet with the victim at the hotel but arranged everything in the background as part of the conspiracy.
After a complex investigation, Billions was identified through his profile on a bitcoin trading website and subscriber checks on his mobile phone. Oluwasegun was identified through fingerprints left at the scene.
During police interviews, Oluwasegun and Billions both answered no comment to all questions asked.
Oluwasegun pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud in July 2021 and Billions was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Inner London Crown Court on August 11, 2021 following a trial.