Crypto fraudsters Eric Meiggs and Declan Harrington convicted

Eric Meiggs, of Brockton, and Declan Harrington, of Rockport, both 20 years old, have pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy that stole at least $500,000 in cryptocurrency funds from as many as 10 separate people. The scheme was carried out by Meiggs and Harrington. They will be give


Both Eric Meiggs and Declan Harrington have entered guilty pleas in this case.
In the year 2019, charges were brought against both Meiggs and Harrington for their roles in operating a conspiracy across the United States that was aimed to steal cryptocurrency assets from online accounts and digital wallets. At the time this article was written, it is suspected that the two individuals stole a total of up to $530,000 worth of various cryptocurrencies. Both of these people face the possibility of serving up to two years in jail individually.

In a recent statement, attorneys for Meiggs said as follows:

When Eric Meiggs entered a guilty plea nearly 18 months ago, he did so with the complete understanding that he would be forced to serve a sentence of at least two years in federal prison for his conviction on the charge of... aggravated identity theft.

The point being made is that he is accountable and ready to take responsibility for the outcomes of his decisions. At the time of this publication, Meiggs had entered a guilty plea to a number of separate charges, including those of computer fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. In his guilty plea, Harrington admitted to one count of conspiracy, in addition to one count of computer fraud and five counts of wire fraud.

The couple employed a technique known as SIM-swapping to gain access to the cryptocurrency accounts of their victims through the victims' mobile phones and then transferred the victims' cryptocurrency from their wallets into wallets owned by the illegal pair. Over the course of the past several years, a large number of crypto criminals have engaged in this continuing process as a method of acquiring access to monies that are not rightfully theirs.

In the associated court records, the prosecutors provided a more in-depth description of the theft process:

Because they had access to this information, the defendants and their co-conspirators were able to look through the victims' digital lives, identify cryptocurrencies belonging to the victims, and steal it as well as assume control of their social media account identities... Sometimes, the defendants impersonated the victims in order to commit fraud and successfully ask friends and acquaintances for short-term loans of bitcoin, which they never repaid. Other times, the defendants demanded payment from the victims in exchange for returning control of the accounts.

Because Meiggs lacked structure and discipline, the attorneys for Meiggs made a valiant effort to argue that he should be investigated for his troubled past as a teenager. In a statement, they mentioned the following:

He engaged in behavior that was antisocial... Eric Meiggs, when he was a teenager, made the unfortunate discovery that he could get away with inappropriate behavior online. If it was allowed to continue unchecked, that lesson would eventually lead to criminal behavior.

Should We Even Think About Regulating It?
Given that the cryptocurrency industry is largely unregulated, situations like these have become quite problematic in recent years. On the one hand, many people do not want regulation because they believe it will open the door to unwelcome observers and third parties.

On the other hand, one could make the case that some form of regulation is required in order to keep illegal actors at bay.

Ojike Stella

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