The French businessman allegedly stole 182 Bitcoin from his former company

A French startup filed a lawsuit against a 37-year-old French businessman alleging stole 182 Bitcoin (around €1.2 million) from the company he co-founded. Embezzlement is one of the charges against this man from the prosecutor’s office in Paris.


Bitcoin-related crimes are increasing in the market (Photographic image)

The situation of legal cryptocurrency in France

Most European governments have yet to legalize and adjust the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. However, this process is beginning to take shape with the implementation of FATF standards and the transposition of EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) into the national legislature. Laws that go beyond pure AML rules are also likely to be passed, and some crypto-friendly jurisdictions already do that.

While the regulations are still not complete, real-life cryptocurrency-related cases are forcing authorities to hurry and finish them quickly. Besides, they are also forced to admit some essential characteristics of cryptocurrencies.

The recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Russia stated:

“Moneyness is one of the features of decentralized digital currencies that organizations often don’t want to recognize. But when coins suffer a crime, that suddenly changes for several reasons.”

In a similar context, a case in France now provides another confirmation that cryptocurrencies can be considered as money even without specific provisions stated. An entrepreneur involved in the case has been charged with embezzlement and money laundering along with illegal hacking into automated data processing systems and criminal data manipulation.

The French businessman stole 182 Bitcoin from his former company

The investigation was launched on-demand from a digital technology startup. It is known that this is the start-up that this man helped launch in 2013. It was a relatively successful effort of the whole team, and he until conflict broke out because of the difference in the development strategy. In the end, this man was fired from his position at the company and decided to leave the country in search of better opportunities.

It seems like everything has stopped. However, members of the company allege that the man stole 182 Bitcoin or about €1.2 million at press time. So far, this has been the third-largest cryptocurrency theft in French history. The misappropriation of money took place between December 2018 and January this year.

According to the announcement, technology experts know the company’s electronic system and can penetrate it undetected. He has also withdrawn in many transactions to ensure each transaction is smaller than the limit that will automatically trigger security alerts. It took several months for the cybercrime unit of the Paris prosecuting office to identify the wallet the cryptocurrency was transferred to and link it to the suspect.

The man was detained on December 22 in the Calvados region of France upon returning home. Despite the prosecutors’ request for permanent arrest, the defendants were released by the court authorities and placed under strict judicial supervision only.

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