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Queens Man Who Used Bitcoin to Buy Child Porn Busted: DA

A Jamaica Queens man has been arrested and charged for allegedly purchasing child pornography (iStock)

Nov. 7, 2022 By Christian Murray

A Queens man was arrested last week on sex-crime charges for allegedly buying child pornography.

Andre Hyman, 27, of 112th Avenue in Jamaica, allegedly bought sexually explicit materials online of young children performing sex acts—and paid via Bitcoin to cover his tracks. Authorities said that he bought numerous videos and photos, including an image of a four-year-old girl being subjected to a sexual act.

“This case should serve as a warning to all those who think they can safely hide behind their digital wallets to purchase and promote materials depicting the sexual abuse of children,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement.

Hyman, who was also busted for allegedly possessing bogus bank checks, was arraigned Friday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Anthony M. Battisti on a nine-count complaint charging him with promoting a sexual performance by a child, forgery in the second degree, five counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and possessing a sexual performance by a child. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

According to the charges, Hyman’s activities were initially discovered as part of a larger, international investigation into the proliferation of online child sexual abuse materials.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office and local law enforcement were alerted to Hyman’s activities as well as several websites selling child sexual abuse material using Bitcoin addresses. One website in particular advertised access to criminal content in exchange for payment via cryptocurrency.

Katz, who partnered with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in the investigation, said that authorities tracked the movement of funds from the website to determine the buyers of the illicit images and videos.

Investigators tracked the purchases that were made via Square, Inc., a mobile payment company that facilitates crypto transactions. Subpoenaed records from Square, Inc. indicated that Hyman bought sexually explicit materials involving prepubescent girls.

Authorities obtained a search warrant for Hyman’s residence and discovered numerous images and videos of child sex abuse material. They also recovered five fraudulent checks and blank check stock paper.

Hyman allegedly confessed to buying the child sexual abuse materials as well as attempting to manufacture fraudulent checks for business purposes.

Judge Battisti ordered Hyman to return to court on Jan. 12, 2023.

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