An earlier case that marked the first instance for Sweden to prosecute a crypto-related crime will now see a jailed drug dealer receive over $1.6 million from the Swedish government after bitcoin appreciated tremendously while he was incarcerated.
At the time of his sentencing two years ago, the man had 36 BTC valued at approximately 1.3m Swedish Kronor (100,000), which he openly admitted to the court had been earned through illegal online sales.
The prosecutor on the case, Tove Kullberg then successfully convinced the court that the entire cryptocurrency stash should be confiscated.
However, by the time that the Swedish Enforcement Authority got around to auctioning off the 36 BTC, the top coin had appreciated ten times its original value.
This means the government would need to only auction around 3 BTC to cover the amount demanded by the prosecution and return the remaining 33 BTC (currently worth $1.6M) to the owner.
Case Necessitates More Crypto Legal Provisions And Education
Speaking to Swedish Radio, Kullberg said that the case has turned out unfortunate in many ways and has led to consequences that she couldn’t foresee at the time.
She pointed out that since the case was the first crypto-related seizure in Swedish legal history, the court had no established precedent on how to deal with bitcoin profits at the time.
Kullberg suggested that the prosecution should now think about increasing and refining its provision for cryptocurrencies, as adoption continues to rise.
“I think we should probably invest in internal education in the authority, as cryptocurrency will be a factor we’ll be dealing with to a much greater extent that we are today. The more we increase the level of knowledge within the organization, the fewer mistakes we will make.”
Kullberg said that the unique case has nevertheless provided an important lesson to the Swedish legal system about the valuation of cryptocurrencies against fiat.
“The lesson to be learned from this is to keep the value in bitcoin, that the profit from the crime should be 36 bitcoin, regardless of what value the bitcoin has at the time.”