The long-running case against cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail has reached another stage in Italian courts with a judge ordering the exchange’s founder to repay a missing USD 170 million worth of cryptocurrency.
The original hacking prompted BitGrail to freeze trading in February, followed by the Nano community starting a legal fund through creditor Espen Enger who represented nearly 600 victims at the time. A file for bankruptcy was then made against BitGrail by Italian law firm BonelliErede as the argument between BitGrail’s owner, Francesco “The Bomber” Firano, and The Nano Foundation, became more heated.
In March of 2018, Bitgrail said that it would refund victims of the hacking to cover 80% of their losses by issuing a new token (BGS) and the remaining 20% in XRB. However, victims were required to sign off on taking any further legal action against the exchange.
The court has ordered that Firano must now declare bankruptcy as well as forfeit personal assets, and return as much of the stolen digital assets as possible. Court documents indicate that millions of Firano’s assets have already been seized along with millions of dollars of cryptocurrency held by the exchange.
It has now come to light that Firano is accused of mismanaging clients funds, particularly relating to security issues surrounding BitGrail users’ private keys, also transferring client funds into company wallets. Also, millions of dollars of NANO had been lost as a result of repetitive withdrawals, without Firano informing users.
Prior to the reported loss of the USD 170 million worth of cryptocurrency, Firano allegedly made a deposit of BTC 230 (USD 1.8 million) onto another exchange in order to make a fiat exchange for euros.
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