Maltese Man Accused of Stealing $700K Worth of Crypto

Maltese Man Accused of Stealing $700K Worth of Crypto

A Maltese man is currently facing several charges alleging that he had fraudulently taken about $700,000 worth of crypto from his drinking companion.

According to a Tuesday report by a local media outlet, several police officers testified against the suspect during the hearing of the case which took place before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech.

He faces the following charges: money laundering, misappropriation, theft of cryptocurrency, violently resisting arrest, being in possession of items used for fraud, and handling stolen goods, among other things.

The Full Story

The accused, 25-year-old company director, Luke John Milton, had met the 27-year old victim, Dillon Attard, some days before the incident after the latter came across a blockchain project while exploring a cryptocurrency loan.

Their first meeting was at a Burmarrad office following a series of phone calls. Attard had met the accused and a third party who was identified as Milton’s business partner.

The duo had agreed to meet for lunch at a Sliema restaurant after Milton asked Attard for help to make a €5,000 (approximately $5,932) blockchain investment on the phone.

$700k Suddenly Disappears

When the two met up, Attard told Milton that the market was extremely volatile on that day but he insisted on continuing the transaction.

Then, Attard gave his phone to the accused to scan the barcode on his crypto wallet, only for Milton to divert the funds in the victim’s wallet to another wallet, while still drinking wine with him.

When the victim sensed that something was up, he immediately snatched his phone from the accused only to see that his crypto wallet containing about 424,670.97 Unizen tokens worth $700,000 has turned zero.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I took the mobile back and saw that my wallet balance was zero,” the victim lamented.

Shifting Blames

He quickly called his friend who was a police sergeant and alerted him of the suspected fraud, soliciting for his help. When the police officer arrived at the scene, Milton tried to shift the blame on Attard, claiming to be the victim of the fraud.

After authorities from the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) arrived and required both men to hand over their phones, Milton became agitated and refused to hand over his.

He even insisted on keeping an eye on the phone when he was detained, claiming that he didn’t want the device to be tampered with.

The case is scheduled to continue on August 11th. However, the accused has refused to give police officers the password to his phone and the officers are considering getting experts from abroad to unlock the device.