MOSCOW, June 23 (RAPSI) — The Moscow Cheremushkinsky District Court has sentenced the persons involved in an attempted kidnapping of an entrepreneur with the aim to extort his cryptocurrency holdings to prison terms ranging from 3 to 10 years, the Main Investigative Department of the Russian Investigative Committee informs RAPSI on Wednesday.   

Three defendants in the case, Georgy Lyamin, Alexey Khamilonov, Pavel Batechko, and Karen Meliksetyan are to spend 10, 8.6, and 8 years respectively in special regime colonies, co-defendant Karen Meliksetyan was sentenced to 5 years in a maximum security colony, the court ruled on the basis of the evidence obtained in the course of the investigation.

Yet another defendant, Ivan Goryunov, who pleaded guilty and collaborated with investigators was sentenced to 3 years in a maximum security colony, the statement reads.

According to the court materials, in 2018, Meliksetyan learned that the CEO of a commercial organization he was employed by owns 275 bitcoins (more than 650 million rubles, or about $9 million at the current exchange rate - editor's note) and decided to steal the funds from a special electronic wallet. 

In order to bring this plan to fruition, he conspired with Goryunov, who in turn attracted Lyamin, Batechko and Khamilonov. Having rented an apartment in Moscow, the accomplices planned to kidnap the victim, keep him in the apartment and extort the said cryptocurrency funds, the investigative body said in the statement.

All participants were arrested in the framework of an undercover operation, investigators noted.

In the result of the searches conducted, about 30 firearms and a large amount of ammunition were found and seized, the statement reads.