A former Cryptopia staff is accused of stealing almost $250,000 worth of cryptocurrency from the exchange. The incident was confirmed by the New Zealand police, reporting that the past employee was taken to court for it.
The culprit, who has obtained interim name suppression, was charged with theft by a person in a special relationship and theft over $1,000. He was indicted for the theft of customer data from the Christchurch-based crypto exchange and the subsequent theft of crypto valued at $246,000.
It was reported that the theft was carried out through a link. The former employee was put into trial in October and would later appear before the court once again in December. All of the stolen funds were returned to accounting firm Grant Thornton.
Moreover, the police spokeswoman who made the announcement also mentioned that the accused had nothing to do with the massive hack in the past year. She declined to disclose further details while the case is still ongoing in court.
‘At this stage, these charges are unrelated to the Cryptopia cyber intrusion in January 2019. The investigation in relation to this cyber intrusion is ongoing’, she declared.
Last January 2019, the stock market was subjected to an attack by a group of hackers which resulted in the looting of 15% of its clients’ virtual assets stock. It consisted of 900 different crypto tokens and altcoins valued at $24 million. There were about 800,000 account holders with positive coin balance and $170 million worth of crypto at the time.
The hacking attack was first made public as a security flaw by the stock market until the New Zealand police were involved. It is deemed as the worst theft in the country’s history. Not long after the incident, the exchange announced its bankruptcy.
The Grant Thornton agency, who stepped in to process the liquidation, said it wanted to bear some of the damage. So far, the firm has spent $3 million to secure crypto on the exchange site.
They also went to the High Court in Christchurch to ask for guidance on whether the holders were entitled to all the currencies in their accounts. Justice David Gendall found for the account holders, stating Cryptopia held the assets on trust by way of a separate trust for each crypto coin.
In regards to the alleged theft, liquidators David Ruscoe and Russell Moore declined to make any comment. However, they mentioned in a statement that the incident occurred before they were appointed.
‘When we identified the alleged theft, we passed the information on to the police’, they said.
Cryptopia was one of the world’s major crypto exchanges. It was founded in 2014 by two young programmers and gamers, Rob Dawson and Adam Clark. The company decided to shut down and liquidate its assets in May 2019.
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