3 Men Jailed for Impersonating Police in Crypto Extortion Scheme


On Tuesday, June 6, 2022, police received a report that three men had been acting suspiciously in the Spalding Common area and had jumped over a fence. Officers stopped them in a blue Volkswagen Golf and found a fake firearm, a baseball bat, and a police uniform in the car’s boot.

Inquiries revealed that the three men were from London and intended to deceive their way into the home of a victim. They then used the threat of violence and blackmail to convince the victim to transfer cryptocurrency.

Thomas Green, 24, from Tollet Street, London; Leonardo Sapiano, 24, from Invicta Close, London; and Rayhan Miah, 24, from Monteagle Avenue, Barking, were all arrested on September 8. They were charged with intent to harm another, demanding cryptocurrency unwarrantedly, impersonating a constable of police, possessing an imitation gun, and possessing a Taser.

The police uniform was hired from a props company using false details. On Friday, July 7, all three defendants entered guilty pleas in Lincoln Crown Court and were sentenced to a total of twelve years and eight months in jail.

The sentences were four years, nine months and nine days for conspiracy to blackmail for Green and Miah, and three years and two month for conspiracy to blackmail for Sapiano.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency or virtual currency that can be purchased or traded online. It has a decentralized system, meaning that it is not controlled centrally by a government but rather by an algorithm or by users themselves.

Personal information about the victim was found on the phones of Green, Miah and Sapiano, which had been obtained via the dark internet.

Detective Constable Kerry-Anne Kinroy, who led the investigation, said: “I am pleased we were able to build such a strong case that resulted in custodial sentences for the men involved. I’m grateful to my team for all of their hard work and would also like to give thanks to our colleagues in Thames Valley Police, the NCA and the City of London Police for their assistance in the investigation.”

Detective Inspector Richard Nethercott of Boston South Holland CID added: “I’d like to thank DC Kinroy and her team for conducting an extremely thorough investigation. The case involved working closely with several police forces, and the use of specialist knowledge. It was a thorough investigation, but there were still some aspects that needed to be addressed. Kerry and her team were not familiar with this before. Their dedication and hard work are evident in this case and the three men now face substantial prison sentences because of it.”

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