$6.9M in stolen Bitcoin mining computers recovered in Southern California

Bitcoin golden physical coin illustration on United States Dollar banknotes. Visual representations of the digital Cryptocurrency Bitcoin with the USD bill. Bitcoin with the symbol BTC, XBT is a popular digital currency that showed growth and is widely spread, accepted from banks, markets and other services and shops as ways of payments. The exchange rate today for 1 bitcoin blockchain is 32.287 US Dollar. The value of the cryptocurrency bitcoin has surged to a record high in 2021, reaching $63,000 according to American Financial media. Thessaloniki, Greece on July 23, 2021 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Three men have been arrested and are facing charges of receiving stolen property after nearly $7 million in stolen Bitcoin mining computers were recovered, authorities announced Thursday.  

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, it was detectives from the Commercial Crimes Division’s Cargo Theft Unit who arrested the three suspects at an undisclosed location on March 19.  

The computers recovered during the arrest, according to a news release from LAPD, are valued at $6.9 million. 

While anyone can participate in the process of Bitcoin mining, the chances of winning any bitcoin rewards are extremely low without application-specific integrated circuit computers, also simply referred to as ASICs, according to the financial outlet Nerdwallet.  

“When Bitcoin started more than a decade ago, it was no big deal to mine with your personal computer,” Nerdwallet reports. “But as Bitcoin’s value has grown, so has the competition for the rewards, sparking an arms race to deploy ever-faster, more powerful mining equipment. Mining has become a multibillion-dollar industry, and the miners with the best shot at rewards are now those with warehouses full of ASICs.”

Authorities did not specify whether the Bitcoin mining computers were application-specific integrated circuit computers, but detectives did say the suspects were found in possession of 608 Bitcoin mining machines.

The three suspects were identified by police as 47-year-old Vardan Vardanyan, 36-year-old Vagarshak Vardanyan and 34-year-old Samvel Pilovan.  

All three men were booked at the 77th Street Jail.  

Anyone with additional information about this investigation or these types of crimes is urged to contact LAPD’s Commercial Crimes Division at 213-486-5920. Anonymous tips can be made through L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or online at L.A. Crime Stoppers.  

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