Italian authorities have blamed Bitgrail’s founder for fraudulent activities related to the platform’s $ 150 million hack in 2018.
Francesco Firano, the sole director of the now-defunct crypto exchange Bitgrail, He is accused of using customer funds before reporting the theft of cryptocurrencies from the platform.
According to an announcement made on December 21 by the Post and Communications Police, a cybercrime division of the Italian State Police, Firano kept the platform intact for months despite a serious security breach related to the cryptocurrency Nano.::
“Keeping the platform open even though illegal withdrawals of the nano coins were detected without informing the nano team […] FF continued to attract new users, who rose from 70,000 to around 217,000 in just a few months, benefiting from its notoriety of being the first and only Italian exchange it dealt with [Nano]”.
Firano later denied the police’s allegations claims the authorities have provided false information on the matter. “The police went into hiding instead of correcting the articles,” dispute Firano on Twitter. The executive also noted that he was not arrested by the police.
The announcement seems to indicate that Firano has withdrawn 230 Bitcoin (BTC) worth 1.7 million euros, or around 1.9 million dollars.Just three days before the largest nano-theft was reported in the past few months. The amount of BTC stolen was traced back to a company in Malta called The Rock Trading, allegedly owned by Firano. Although authorities said there were attempts to convert the money, Most of the funds remained in the company’s accounts. Authorities said the hackers who stole Nano have not been identified. In a preliminary court order, Firano was prohibited from holding managerial positions or doing business, but his freedom of movement is not otherwise restricted.
The latest news comes after years of controversy surrounding the Bitgrail attack., one of the biggest hacking incidents in Italy. In February 2018 Firano officially announced that 17 million nano, formerly known as raiblocks, had been stolen. Subsequently, the developers at Nano made an official comment showing this Firano requested to change the altcoin’s ledger the next day after reporting the hack.
In January 2018 The Italian bankruptcy court ordered Firano to return most of the assets to its clients after local authorities confiscated more than $ 1 million in Firano’s personal property.