Australian XRP Thief Jailed For Two Years

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  • An Australian XRP thief who stole 100,000 tokens in 2018 has been jailed
  • Kathryn Nguyen stole the XRP tokens after hacking into her victim’s exchange account
  • She was the first Australian charged with cryptocurrency theft

An Australian woman who stole 100,000 XRP tokens in January 2018 has been sentenced to more than two years in jail for her crimes. Kathryn Nguyen, who stole the coins at the height of the alt coin market by hacking into her victim’s cryptocurrency exchange account, was sentenced Wednesday to two years and three months in prison in what the judge said was a “difficult and troubling decision”. Nguyen was the first Australian charged with cryptocurrency theft when she was arrested in October 2018, but her otherwise good reputation saved her from a worse fate.

XRP Thief Stole at the Market Top

Nguyen achieved the XRP theft by hacking into the account of a 56-year old man in January 2018 and changing the two-factor authentication code to her own mobile phone number. This enabled her to withdraw the 100,000 XRP tokens, worth some $300,000 at the time, to her own account exchange account where she converted the funds to Bitcoin and shipped them off to different wallets.

These actions would prove to be her undoing however, as it allowed police to trace the movement of the coins, leading to the NSW Cybercrime Squad uncovering her identity and arresting her in October 2018. A raid of Nguyen’s home in 2019 resulted in the seizure of computers, phones, and money, which helped police in their case against her.

Nguyen Spared Further Punishment

Nguyen doesn’t seem to fit the typical demographic of a crypto hacker, with the judge deliberating over whether or not to issue a custodial sentence to the XRP thief due to her otherwise “generous and hardworking personality” and “willingness to help others”. 

Unfortunately this willingness to help others led to her teaming up with an accomplice to rob an innocent man of his XRP tokens, which are now worth around a tenth of their value at the time of the theft and have resulted in her looking forward to a spell in prison, with a parole hearing set for 2021.