Harpurhey cryptocurrency expert who stole £43,000 from former employer avoids jail

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A cryptocurrency expert who stole over £40,000 of stationery from his former employer in a three-hour raid has avoided prison.

During the theft, which took place on February 10, 2019, Iulian-marian Moraru used a key handed to him by his ex-boss to access an industrial unit in Swinton.

Moraru, of Leegrange Road, Harpurhey, blacked out the number plate of the van he used during the burglary, and covered CCTV cameras in masking tape to ensure he could not be seen by security guards.

Moraru, 39, took a variety of items from the industrial estate, including phone cases, backpacks, Samsonite wallets, and Ferrari-branded pens — all of which had a wholesale value of around £43,000.

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The stolen stock would have had a retail value of roughly £115,000, according to prosecutors.

Despite his best efforts to go undetected, Moraru was discovered by his former boss — who he was said to have ‘a good working relationship with’ — selling some of the items at Smithfield Market, Openshaw, in April 2019.

When confronted by the victim, Moraru ran off as police were called.

A few months later, detectives found pens being sold on Ebay by another former employer of Moraru, who he had sold them to.

Initially, Moraru told police that the raid was carried out with the knowledge of the victim to make a fraudulent insurance claim.

Eventually, after having a trial date fixed, the Romanian pleaded guilty to the offence.

He had eight previous convictions in Romania for theft, but Moraru said this was in an effort to feed himself, having been brought up in an orphanage for most of his teenage years.

His last conviction came in 2006.

Moraru’s defence barristers argued that since the incident, he has remained out of trouble and was keen to repay any lost income to his former boss — which amounted to around £10,000, once recovered items and an insurance payout were accounted for.

“He is remorseful for breaching that trust in this way,” his barrister told Minshull Street Crown Court today (June 8). “He is keen to make any repayment he can to the victim as he is earning a good income from crypto-currency.

“It is assessed that he has a good chance of rehabilitation.”

Supported in courtroom eight by his wife, who is pregnant, Moraru was told by judges that they were handing down a suspended sentence as ‘a very last resort’.

“I am doing this not for your benefit, but for the benefit of the public at large,” Miss Recorder Mary Prior QC said. “If I give you a custodial sentence, you will come out of it unemployed and all the work done to change your life will have been for nothing.

“I do this as a very last resort for you.”

Iulian-marian Moraru, of Leegrange Road, Harpurhey, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary and was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to undertake 200 hours of community service, complete a rehabilitation course, and pay a victim surcharge fee.



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