Man jailed for gold bullion cyber hack

A man who hacked the computers of a gold bullion trading company, so others could intercept deliveries of gold, has been jailed for a total of five years and four months.

Adam Penny, 25 (15.04.91), of West Tower, Pan Peninsula Square, E14 was convicted of conspiracy to steal, unauthorised access to a computer and blackmail at Kingston Crown Court.

Penny previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and computer misuse with intent on 1 April at the same court.

Three others were sentenced for conspiracy to steal, for their part in intercepting deliveries of gold. They are:

– Joshua Wilkins, 25 (24.06.91) of Burns Road, NW10 who was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment;
– Nour Mansouri, 24 (09.06.92) of Hanley Rd, N4 who was sentenced to 200 hours community service, and ordered to pay £1000 in costs;
– Daniel William Rabbitte, 25 (16.01.91) of Stanley Road, Hornchurch, Essex, who was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

The court heard that Penny stole the details of customers who had purchased gold and were waiting for it to be delivered. He then provided Wilkins, Mansouri and Rabbitte with the information, including the parcel tracking number, and sent them to wait outside the address and have gold deliveries intercepted.

On one occasion they went from London to an address in Newcastle, where they failed to intercept the delivery because the postman knew the victim and refused to hand over the parcel.

The defendants stole, or attempted to steal, six packages with an estimated value of over £88,000. The stolen gold was then sold to an unsuspecting jeweller in London.

Following Penny’s arrest six iPhones and two MacBooks – one which was found in a toilet cistern – were seized. They were found to contain evidence of Penny’s blackmail demands to the company and instructions for his interceptors.

The investigation was led by detectives from the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit, who arrested Penny at his home address on 26 June 2015.

Detective Constable Matt Burke, of the Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Penny hacked into the computers of the company and got others to intercept the gold packages for him. When even this wasn’t enough for his lavish lifestyle, he blackmailed the company for £50,000. At the time of his arrest Penny was living in a luxury apartment in the Canary Wharf area, despite having no paid employment that we could identify.”

Detective Inspector Sanjiv Gohil, of the Cyber Crime Unit, said: “This case highlights the importance of robust cyber security systems for businesses and particularly those with an on-line presence. In this case the breach was reported to the police and we were able to investigate and bring Penny to justice, without further compromise to the company and their customers.”