A 25-year-old man who lived a life of luxury in a Canary Wharf apartment has been jailed for five years and four months after being found guilty of hacking the computers of a gold bullion trading company, so accomplicies could intercept deliveries of gold.
Adam Penny lived in West Tower, Pan Peninsula Square, despite the police claiming he had no paid employment that they could identify.
He was convicted of conspiracy to steal, unauthorised access to a computer and blackmail at Kingston Crown Court. Penny had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and computer misuse with intent on April 1 at the same court.
Three others – Joshua Wilkins and Nour Mansouri of London and Daniel Rabbitte of Hornchurch – were sentenced for conspiracy to steal, for their part in intercepting deliveries of gold. Their sentences ranged from 200 hours of community service to 22 months in prison.
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 the trio 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 travelled from London to an address in Newcastle, where they failed to intercept the delivery because the postman knew the potential 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 in June.
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, added: “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.”
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