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Okabe & Haushalter Blog

An Alleged Cryptocurrency Thief Arrested

Okabe & Haushalter Oct 11, 2018 Computer Crime

When Bay Area police began investigating Joel Ortiz, a 20-year-old college student from Boston, they did not know much about cryptocurrency. The lead detective on the case, Samy Tarazi, is part of the Santa Clara County-based Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team. This team is focused solely on solving computer crimes and is one of the few in the country to do so outside of federal agencies such as the FBI and Secret Service.

For the crime that Ortiz was being investigated for, he allegedly focused on accessing people’s cryptocurrency accounts, this one a bitcoin account. They say he impersonated someone at a phone store, convinced them to swap another person’s SIM card information onto his card, and proceeded to recover the other person’s email and other account information.

The resident who lost his account reported that around $10,000 worth of bitcoin was stolen from him.

At Okabe & Haushalter, we know that computer crimes happen, but we also know that people who allegedly commit them deserve the same strong defense that everyone gets when they commit a crime.

They Do Not Understand

This is a new arena for most local law enforcement. They are in an area away from the typical crime they investigate.

Do they understand what they are doing?

Did they properly secure warrants to investigate your life?

We are not saying that computer crimes are not committed. We are saying that they should be investigated properly by teams trained to understand the digital world. Cryptocurrency is a fairly new concept. In the story above, in the chaos of having to learn so many new things, it is possible that law enforcement did not take all of the correct legal steps.

Some other common computer crimes that we defend include the following:

  • Computer hacking
  • Breach of privacy
  • Copyright infringement
  • Luring a minor
  • Child pornography

Finding yourself faced with charged related to computer crimes can seem intimidating, but the right defense team can give you confidence. There are two sides to every story, and often the charges do not match the crime that was actually committed. Police and prosecutors tend to throw as many charges as they can at someone, knowing that most of them are bogus. They just want to see which ones stick.

Sometimes, there may have been no crime committed at all.

What You Can Do

If you have been charged with a computer crime, do not wait to seek legal representation. These crimes can quickly rise above the state level to the federal arena where the charges and possible penalties can become tremendous.

When you come to Okabe & Haushalter, you are coming to the team of experience you need. When you need a computer crime defense attorney in San Francisco, you can contact us today or calling 310-430-7799 for a free consultation. We will make sure you are treated fairly throughout the entire process, from preliminary hearings all the way to trial if necessary.