A UK farmer has been found guilty in a £1.5 million ($1.9 million) bitcoin extortion scheme involving the contamination of baby food jars with shards of metal.
According to a report by the Crown Prosecution Services, Nigel Wright, 45, of Lincolnshire, England has been found guilty in a 2018 plot that involved blackmail and bitcoin extortion.
The report claims Wright began threatening Tesco in Spring 2018, saying he would contaminate the store’s baby food jars with salmonella, white powder and shards of metal. Under the pseudonym “Guy Brush,” Wright wrote to his local store in Lincolnshire and demanded increasingly larger sums, paid in bitcoin, in order to prevent the contamination plot.
Several families reported discovering small knife fragments in their baby food in December 2019, which led to a nationwide recall. An officer was able to pose as a Tesco employee and provide Wright with an “access code” for £100K in bitcoin, which was discovered on a written piece of paper following Wright’s arrest.
Wright initially told authorities he was conducting the extortion plot on behalf of other criminals who had threatened his family if he did not carry out the scheme.
Charles White of CPS said there was sufficient evidence to prove that Wright had been behind the £1.5 million extortion scheme.
He created an elaborate lie saying that he himself was blackmailed, but it is clear Wright was the only person responsible for potentially putting the public’s safety at risk.
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