John E. Montroll (a 37-year-old US citizen who lived in Texas) received a sentence of 30 years in prison for concealing the truth about hacking the two bitcoins-services he ran.
Montroll provided The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with false testimonies under oath, as well as false documents regarding such services as Weexchange, which functioned as Bitcoin-depository and currency exchange service, and Bitfunder, which provided the purchase and trade of shares for the companies in listing platform in the past.
During the summer period of 2013 more than 6,000 BTC were stolen from the Weexchange exchange by hackers, due to this fact two companies failed to pay the debts to their users. Montroll lied not only to investors, but also to investigators in vain attempts to hide the fact of robbery.
It is noteworthy that John Montroll denied the theft. According to him, “the system stopped hackers, because the amount was enough to cause a failure in the system.” After some time, he added that the problem “was fixed in a few hours.”
The defendant provided the SEC with a screenshot that allegedly showed an amount of 6,679 BTC – it was available to users of Bitfunder and Weexchange in their wallets as of October 13, 2013. Nevertheless, the investigators managed to obtain clues that the electronic document was falsified.
The situation was commented on by the Assistant Director of the FBI, William F. Sweeney, Jr:
“As alleged, Montroll committed a serious crime when he lied to the SEC during sworn testimony. In an attempt to cover up the results of a hack that exploited weaknesses in the programming code of his company, he allegedly went to great lengths to prove the balance of bitcoins available to Bitfunder users in the Weexchange Wallet was sufficient to cover the money owed to investors. It’s said that honesty is always the best policy – this is yet another case in which this virtue holds true.”