Three men have been jailed in the UK for hacking into the Web sites of carbon credit registries, banks, brokerages and financial services companies in an attempt to steal almost 8 million euros worth of carbon credits between June and November of 2011.

In October of 2011, an attempt was made to steal 426,108 carbon credits from the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism Registry, though administrators stopped the transfer before it was completed. Later the same month, 350,000 carbon credits worth about 3.7 million euros were stolen from Spain's RENADE carbon credit registry, though 341,660 were frozen before they could be sold.

Matthew Beddoes, 32, was arrested in the UK on November 17, 2011 by officers from the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), who found evidence of hacking, identity theft and phishing on his hard drives. Beddoes pleaded guilty on May 31, 2012 to conspiracy to commit Computer Misuse Act offenses, fraud offenses, and money laundering.

Jandeep Singh Sangha was arrested on December 20, 2011, and pleaded guilty to two money laundering offenses, and Jasdeep Singh Randhawa, 38, was arrested on April 12, 2012, and pleaded guilty to four offenses related to conspiracy to commit Computer Misuse Act offenses.

Earlier this week, Beddoes was sentenced to 42 months in prison, Randhawa was sentenced to 21 months, and Sangha was given a 12-month suspended sentence.

According to SOCA, an investigation has now begun to confiscate any proceeds resulting from the thefts.