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The Mastermind Behind ‘Big Bitcoin Heist’ Jailed for Massive Crypto Mining Rig Theft

The Seven suspects involved in 2018’s “Big Bitcoin Heist”, where crypto mining equipment costing over three-quarters of a million dollars was stolen, have been sentenced to various prison terms according to their level of involvement in the heist.

Crypto mining equipment from over 600 cryptocurrency mining rigs, valued at ISK 96 million (roughly $800,000) was reportedly stolen by a group of seven. Sindri Stefanson, the mastermind behind the operation received the longest sentence amongst its peers, with a jail term of four-and-a-half years. However, the stolen equipment could not be found as of yet, according to speculations they could be in China.

Stefansson further commuted to Germany via train, ferry, and taxi. However, he was finally caught in Amsterdam, after he was declared an international fugitive with his mugshot widely circulated.

Since escaping from prison is not a crime in Iceland, Stefansson, who had several priors and a long rap sheet, is not facing punishment for that one. In an interview with New York Times, while he was in Amsterdam, Stefansson expressed regret at going on the lam. He elaborated that he was eager to go back to prison in Iceland as he was underfed and felt threatened in Amsterdam.

The Sentences

Stefansson was charged with theft and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. Matthías Jón Karlsson, who admitted to break-in and entry at the data center, recieved a two-and-a-half years sentence.

Hafthór Logi Hlynsson, a co-conspirator charged with planning and preparing the burglary will serve 20 months in prison. Peter Stanislav Karlsson and Viktor Ingi Jónasson will serve one-and-a-half years in prison, while a comparatively lighter sentence was given to Ivar Gylfason, a 15-month sentence with 12 of it suspended and  Kjartan Sveinarsson, who facilitated communication between two of the other conspirators will serve a six-month sentence.

Additionally, the criminals must also pay Advania, the company they robbed, the sum of ISK 33 million (roughly $272,000) in compensation.

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