Canary Wharf computer hacker jailed for stealing nearly £90k of gold and diverting the haul to his own flat before attempting to blackmail gold bullion firm
A jobless computer hacker has been jailed for accessing a gold bullion firm’s website by hacking into a company computer system from his Canary Wharf home in London.
Adam Penny, 25, stole the names, addresses and parcel tracking numbers of customers who were waiting for deliveries of gold bullion, before passing the data to three associates who then intercepted the gold deliveries.
It emerged that the culprit and his team stole or attempted to steal six packages of gold with an estimated value of more than £88,000, according to a court hearing at Kingston Crown Court on September 12. The £88,000 haul was later sold to an unsuspecting London jeweller.
They went from London to an address in Newcastle on one occasion, where they failed to intercept the delivery because the postman knew the victim and refused to hand over the parcel.
Penny, who lived in a luxury flat in London’s Canary Wharf, and then blackmailed the gold bullion trading company for £50,000 to keep his “lavish lifestyle”.
Penny, of West Tower, Pan Peninsula Square, was arrested in June last year and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, unauthorised access to a computer and blackmail at Kingston Crown Court. He was sentenced to for five years and four months in jail. He previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and computer misuse with intent on April 1 at the same court.
Detective Constable Matt Burke, of the Met Police’s cybercrime team, 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.”
Following Penny’s initial arrest in the Canary Wharf area on June 26, 2015, police seized six iPhones and two Apple MacBooks – one of which was discovered in a toilet cistern. They were found to contain evidence of Penny’s blackmail demands to the company and instructions for his interceptors.
Alongside Penny, Joshua Wilkins, 25, of Burns Road and Nour Mansouri, 24, of Hanley Road, both north London; and Daniel William Rabbitte, 25, of Stanley Road, Hornchurch, Essex, were sentenced for conspiracy to steal, for their part in intercepting deliveries of gold.
Wilkins was jailed for 22 months, Mansouri was given 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay £1,000 and Rabbitte was given an 18 months jail sentence suspended for two years.
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.”