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German court can't cash $60M in bitcoin from man who won’t give up passwords

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KEMPTEN, Germany — German court authorities are unable to cash in more than 50 million euros ($60 million) in bitcoins confiscated from a convicted fraudster as he has not revealed the passwords, a court spokesman said.

The court in the southern town of Kempten has been able to sell just 86 of the 1,800 bitcoins seized from the man, who created them illegally by hacking the computers of others.

This brought in 500,000 euros.

Speaking after details of the coins were revealed in the local press, the court spokesman said that the digital coins were protected by multiple passwords and that IT specialists had been unable to crack them.

It was also possible that the fraudster had forgotten them.

“We asked him but he didn’t say,” prosecutor Sebastian Murer told Reuters on Friday. “Perhaps he doesn’t know.”

The man, who was first convicted in 2014, has now served his sentence. The court authorities have secured his bitcoin wallet in a way that prevents him from gaining access to it.

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