The founder of cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail has been ordered by an Italian judge to repay 170 million USD worth of cryptocurrency that was lost early this year. This is according to a document shared by a BitGrail victim advocacy group.
BitGrail CEO must forfeit personal assets
According to the shared document, the judge had ordered BitGrail CEO Firano to declare bankruptcy and forfeit personal assets. He has also been asked to return as much of the stolen digital assets as possible.
The documents revealed that Firano didn’t pay much attention to security issues related to private keys of the exchange users. At one point, he was alleged to have transferred customer funds into wallets under direct BitGrail control.
They further added that Firano failed to install any suitable safeguards to ensure that the NANO digital currency wasn’t withdrawn without user authorization. They failed to put security measures in place despite millions of dollars’ worth of the cryptocurrency being lost on numerous occasion because of repetitive withdrawals. The court documents revealed that Firano didn’t disclose the suspicious transactions to his users.
The court documents also pointed out that over a million dollars in personal assets have been seized. This is in addition to millions of dollars in cryptocurrency that was being managed by BitGrail.
According to the reports, Firano deposited 230 bitcoins (1.8 million USD) into another crypto exchange just days before revealing the loss of 170 million USD worth of NANO coins. Investigators revealed that Firano had attempted to withdraw funds via a Bitcoin ATM linked to the exchange.
BitGrail wanted to “exit scam”
The crypto exchange has thought about exit scamming since last year. In February last year, Firano posted on Twitter that they were looking to exit following reports of 17 million NANO missing.
BitGrail was offline at that time. The founder claimed that they were undecided between claiming bankruptcy and returning 20 percent of the lost funds immediately with the promise to pay back the rest at a later date.
The exchange later announced that the remainder of the missing funds would be returned as BitGrail Shares, a new token created by them. The affected users were asked to sign a waiver releasing Firano and the exchange from any liability before they are given the BitGrail Shares.
At the moment, it is unclear how much cryptocurrency Firano will be able to pay back. This is because BitGrail has been insolvent for a while now.
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