According to the court documents, the suspect, a 23-year-old father of Troisdorf, North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany, purchased three pieces of counterfeit euro notes on the dark web, which he put into circulation.
Because of the seriousness of the defendant’s crimes, the judge sentenced him to six months of imprisonment along with three years of probation. Judge Ulrich Wilbrand emphasized that the 23-year-old did not commit the crimes because he was naive or curious. According to judge Wilbrand, the accused, who has not been convicted before, showed a “criminal energy”, thus, he presented a high risk of breaking the law again.
The court records showed that the 23-year-old placed orders for the three counterfeit 50 euro notes on January 4, 2016. The defendant paid 20 euros for every fake 50 euro bill and used a darknet marketplace to order the illicit product. The suspect passed one of the 50 bills to a friend while he used the rest of the money to purchase narcotics from a dealer who he angered since he realized that the bills were not genuine. In the courtroom, Judge Wilbrand stated that the forensic examination of the fifties showed that they were of a rather poor quality.
“Money is sacred in Germany, so this is a crime,” the judge said to the defendant who was shaking, had tears in his eyes and had to swallow hard several times during his trial. According to the court documents, the defendant had a permanent job and had a child. These were the reasons why the judge has given a lighter sentence to the 23-year-old.
On the other hand, the prosecution pushed for a prison sentence without the chance of parole. The prosecutor was outraged by the use of the dark web since, according to him, that part of the internet is only used to commit crimes. Because the 23-year-old ordered the counterfeit euro bills from the dark web, he demanded a harsher sentence from the judge.
When the judge asked the defendant about his motive for the crimes, he only shrugged his shoulders. The judge speculated that the 23-year-old ordered the counterfeit euro bills to make money quickly. The friend, who the defendant gave one of the falsified fifties, was also present at the trial. The judge sentenced him to six months on probation.
However, that is not the last case Judge Wilbrand will have on the 23-year-old. According to the prosecution, a procedure is still pending where law enforcement authorities are investigating the defendant and his accomplice. The prosecution accused the duo of committing fraud with a fake online shop. The fraud case is also connected to the dark web, the suspects probably bought a package or a website template to set up the fake site.