While police welcomed the jailing of a cryptocurrency crook – one of his victims labelled the ex-Oxford student a ‘rich man’ who would be ‘living in a tropical paradise’ in months.
The Scot, who asked not to give his name, was sitting in the public gallery at Oxford Crown Court when Wybo Wiersma was jailed for four-and-a-half years on Friday afternoon.
READ MORE: Iota crypto thief jailed at Oxford Crown Court
He had travelled down to Oxford to give evidence in the 40-year-old’s theft trial, only to discover the Dutch national had already pleaded guilty.
The man, who told the Oxford Mail he had lost around £600 when his Iota wallet was drained, praised the ‘tremendous job’ police and prosecutors had done to ‘piece it all together’.
But he questioned whether the fact that Wiersma, who because he has been on remand for more than two years has effectively already served his 54 month sentence, had relinquished his heavily encrypted computer equipment to the police meant anything.
“He’s a rich man now. He’ll be out in a couple of weeks. The fact he doesn’t have the computers means nothing. I think in six months’ time he’ll be living in a tropical paradise,” the man said.
READ MORE: Live updates from sentencing of crypto thief
Welcoming the sentence, the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit’s DI Rob Bryant said: “For some people this had a devastating effect and meant losing significant amounts of money – their savings and businesses.”
This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.
To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk
Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward
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