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Pinellas Park man stole nearly $600,000 in cryptocurrency, police say

Authorities said the man was installing a security system for an elderly victim.
Aaron Daniel Motta, 27 of Pinellas Park, was booked into Pinellas County Jail Friday on felony charges of grand theft and offenses against computer users.
Aaron Daniel Motta, 27 of Pinellas Park, was booked into Pinellas County Jail Friday on felony charges of grand theft and offenses against computer users. [ Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Apr. 9

A 27-year-old man stole more than $575,000 worth of cryptocurrency from an elderly person while he was setting up technology in the victim’s home, according to the Clearwater Police Department.

Aaron Daniel Motta of Pinellas Park faces felony charges of grand theft and offenses against computer users, according to an arrest affidavit.

Motta was at the victim’s house to set up a security system and had access to the victim’s computer, the report said. While there, Motta stole a Trezor hardware wallet, which lets users store cryptocurrency offline, and found the password to it nearby, police said.

Motta then transferred cryptocurrency worth $575,910.61 at the time to multiple wallets that he controlled, according to police. Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency stored on the blockchain, a peer-to-peer network that serves as a secure ledger of transactions.

A Facebook page in Motta’s name said he is an IT manager, former cyber security engineer and ethical hacker. Calls went unanswered Saturday to a phone number written on the affidavit, which is also listed online for the company Motta works for, according to the Facebook page.

The victim is 65 years or older, according to the affidavit.

Motta was booked into Pinellas County Jail on Friday afternoon but released before 1 a.m. Saturday after paying $60,000 bail.

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