Cryptocurrency traders and investors may be hurting, but that hasn’t stopped regulators from bringing crypto-related criminals to justice. Just recently, a leading financial regulator has brought an Arizona-based man to justice for stealing upwards of $1 million in Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC).
CFTC, U.S. Courts Charge Arizona-based Man For Stealing Bitcoin, Litecoin
On November 9th, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commision (CFTC), issued a press release to reveal that it was sentencing one Joseph Kim, a Phoenix, Arizona native, to jail for his affiliation with a Bitcoin- and Litecoin-related swindle.
For those who are unaware, Kim worked for Consolidated Trading’s cryptocurrency division in late-2017. When he joined the Chicago-based firm’s crypto branch, he was told to cease all trading through his personal accounts to mitigate conflicts of interest. However, he failed to abide by the bylaws, racking up debts on his account by reportedly issuing high-leverage trades on platforms like BitMEX and Bitfinex.
To cover his a*s, so to speak, he began to transfer litecoin out of Consolidated’s company wallet, first issuing a 980 LTC transaction, valued at $48,000 at the time, to an unauthorized account.
Although Kim’s supervisor was quickly brought to the attention of this suspicious transaction, the now-felon had bluffed, claiming that he moved the funds to a “personal digital wallet for safety reasons,” adding that his Litecoin wallet was to be used as an “intermediary holding space.”
Evidently, this was far from the truth, with the self-proclaimed “degen (degenerate)” trader later sending a 55 BTC transaction (valued at $433,000 at the time) to unauthorized wallet yet again. Again, Kim played it off, giving his supervisor yet another excuse, before stealing upwards of 284 BTC in total.
Eventually, after losing a good portion of the 284 BTC to the ‘crypto gods’ and stealing $545,000 from other clients, he was caught by his supervisors and employers, who later took him to court to bring Kim to justice.
Now, as revealed in the aforementioned CFTC release, the former Consolidated trader lost upwards of $1 million, $600,000 of which Kim “misappropriated,” leading to his sentencing of 15 months in prison.
The CFTC, along with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, has also called for Kim to pay $1.146 million in restitution (in cash, not in BTC or LTC) to Consolidated and his clients. As it stands, the convict will be unable to trade or sign up for digital asset exchanges, with this move likely being made to mitigate future risk.
However, although this may be news to some, some were expecting this verdict for months on end, as Kim’s story has been circulating the cryptosphere for the better part of a year. Since this news originally broke, many of his critics had obviously claimed that embezzlement isn’t the way to dig your way out of a financial pit, even in the crypto space, an industry centered around pseudonymity and freedom.
So, while Kim is now in the slammer for his wrongdoings, there’s a moral to this unfortunate story.
As noted by I Am Nomad, a long-time crypto enthusiast and savant, this situation underlines a theme of so-called “revenge trading” in this industry. He/she went on to explain, “if you’re s*hitty at trading or on a serious losing streak, just stop… [or else] you [will] only lose more.” And, of course, for the love of god, don’t embezzle money from your employer, investors, or anyone for that matter.
Photo by Giammarco Boscaro on Unsplash