53-year-old former healthcare worker has been sentenced to seven years in prison by Karlsruhe District Court for extorting German retailer dm with €500,000 Bitcoin ransom and detonating bomb at one of its stores
A 53-year-old man has been sentenced to seven years in prison by the Karlsruhe District Court for extorting German retailer dm with a €500,000 Bitcoin ransom and bombing one of its stores, FAZ reports.
The extortionist, a former healthcare worker, confessed to the crime at trial, citing professional burnout and a desire for financial security until retirement as his motives.
In 2019, the man planted a homemade explosive device at a dm store in Freiburg, causing €20,000 in damages. No one was injured as the result of the incident.
The convicted criminal demanded the equivalent of half a million euros in the largest cryptocurrency from the popular drugstore chain to back up his ransom demands.
Despite the prosecution seeking a nine-year sentence, the court ultimately settled on a seven-year term.
In addition to his prison sentence, the court ordered the man to repay dm the demanded €500,000. According to a court spokesperson, the ruling includes a provision for adjusting the repayment amount to account for fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin.
German investigators have already seized €370,000, while Swiss authorities have confiscated the defendant’s motor yacht.
The verdict handed down by the Karlsruhe District Court remains subject to appeal.