A UK court has blocked an attempt to extradite Corey De Rose to the US over his alleged role in an $8.5m crypto hack.
A district judge for Westminster Magistrates’ Court today ruled that it would be “oppressive” and “unjust” to extradite 22-year-old De Rose to the USA and said sending him abroad to face criminal prosecution would violate his human rights. Lawyers arguing on behalf of De Rose, who is alleged to have taken part in the hack while he was a teenager, opposed his extradition on mental health grounds.
“This decision is significant for our client and his family,” said Richard Cannon, a partner at The Stokoe Partnership which led De Rose’s defence.
“The Judgment shows the UK Court is willing and able to protect the rights of vulnerable individuals in the UK when their extradition is sought to the US, particularly where medical issues arise, in this case concerning ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and a high risk of suicide,” he continued.
De Roe was allegedly part of a team of crypto hackers known as The Community, which is believed to have stolen $50m in digital assets between 2017 and 2018.
During the scam in question, a member of the group is believed to have phoned up T-Mobile customer service impersonating the victim and requested for calls to be rerouted to a phone controlled by the hackers. The scammers were then able to request codes for password resets on the victim’s online accounts, gaining access to their private cryptocurrency wallets and stealing the contents.
While today’s judgement blocked De Rose’s extradition it does not preclude the possibility of prosecution.
In today’s ruling District Judge, Sarah Jane Griffiths’ noted that her “findings and conclusions above do not mean that it would be unjust and/or oppressive to prosecute the RP [requested person] in the UK for these offences, should the decision be taken to do this.” The US also has fourteen days to appeal the judgement.