Man pleads guilty in Bitcoin robbery scheme
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A employee claiming to have been robbed of thousands of dollars in bitcoin pleads guilty to theft.
Timothy Paul Sears, 42, pleaded guilty to Theft over $2,500 and under $30K on Thursday Nov. 17 2022.
According to the arrest affidavit, on Oct. 18, 2019, Wichita Falls Police were sent to Sikes Senter for a reported aggravated robbery. Sears, a Coin Cloud employee, said he was sent to collect money from a bitcoin machine inside the mall and was supposed to deposit it in a bank account.
He said he collected the money and was robbed by an armed man in a sports car while walking back to his vehicle.
Surveillance video from the scene showed no robbery or sports car. A representative from Coin Cloud confirmed Sears removed $9,000 from the machine.
A search of Sears’ phone found he texted his landlord saying he would be late on his rent.
On Oct. 18, Sears went to the kiosk and removed the money. A short time later he called Coin Cloud to report he had been robbed.
Sears later sent a text link of a news story about the robbery to someone named Noah and said he had “21g in a baggy.” Sears’ landlord told police he paid his rent and late fees with an electronic cash order.
Sears was jailed on Thursday, Nov 23. 2022 for Theft. According to court documentation, he received two years probation and was ordered to pay $9,000 restitution to Cloud Coin. His bond was set at $20,001.