The unusual situation in which the Swedish government found itself was that of PayingA drug dealer was convicted and sentenced to jail for stealing $ 1.5 million worth Bitcoin. After his illegally obtained Bitcoin was appreciated while he was behind bars, authorities are forced to pay 33 BTC to the man.
A Swedish prosecutor’s mistake
A Swedish court convicted him for illegally selling drugs online and earning 36 BTC from these sales two years ago. Tove Kullberg was his former attorney and used the coin’s fiduciary worth to argue his original case.
Accordingly, the court ruled bitcoin illegally acquired by humans should have been seized at its current value of 1.3million Swedish kronor ($100,000. The court made this mistake and paid $ 1.5 million to the drug dealer after his release.
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The price of bitcoin rose dramatically in the two-year period since the man was sentenced and held. Its crypto stash had increased significantly to $ 1.5 million. The court only required that the Swedish Enforcement Authority sell 3 BTC to satisfy its initial $ 100,000 settlement. This leaves 33 BTC worth $ 1.5 Million in the criminal’s pocket, which he now must return. If the Swedish government had sold all 36 pieces during incarceration, it would have avoided this problem completely. Alternately, the prosecutor could have reported the funds in crypto and not dollars.
Tove Kullberg’s reaction
Kullberg, speaking to Swedish radio, admitted that she made a mistake in reporting funds in dollars and not crypto. He describes her as “unhappy” in many ways. This had unintended consequences that I did not anticipate. She added that this was a lesson to be learned. The crime profit should be 36 Bitcoin regardless of Bitcoin’s value at the time. She explained that this was the first case of its kind in Swedish legal history.
BTC price trending at nearly $49,000 | Source: TradingView.com: BTCUSD
Kullberg also stressed that the government must educate its workforce about the details of crypto industry and how they are incorporated into court decisions. “The fewer mistakes we make, the more we can increase our knowledge in the organization.”
This case is a prime example showing how cryptocurrencies continue challenge legal authorities. The volatile and technical nature cryptos has been a challenge for governments all over the globe. And how to integrate it into legal systems.
Featured image taken from CoinGeek. Chart from TradingView.com