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Music hacker ordered to pay back £100,000

June 14, 2023

A court has granted a confiscation order against a hacker who was jailed in 2022 after he stole unreleased material owned by famous recording artists and sold it on the dark web in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Adrian Kwiatkowski, 23, of Ipswich, was given three months to pay £101,503 (€118,000) at Ipswich Crown Court following proceedings brought by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at City of London Police. The amount is made up of £51,975 held in a bank account owned by Kwiatkowski and 2.64 BTC (Bitcoin), worth £49,528, making it the first confiscation order of cryptocurrency secured by PIPCU. The assets were seized by officers from the unit after they arrested Kwiatkowski in 2019.

Kwiatkowski pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court to fourteen copyright offences, three charges of computer misuse, two charges of possession of criminal property and one charge of converting criminal property. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Ipswich Crown Court. Failure to make the payment within three months will result in him facing an additional 18 months pay back £100,000.

Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at City of London Police, said: “Kwiatkowski executed a complex scheme to sell creative content that he did not own. Not only did he cause several musicians and their production companies significant financial harm, he deprived them of the ability to release their own work. Our work doesn’t just stop at conviction, and this result means that Kwiatkowski will not be able to benefit any further from the money he earned through criminal activity.”

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