A former Cryptopia employee has admitted to stealing $175,000 worth of cryptocurrency from an old exchange البورصة
Former employee of Cryptopia Ltd. He pleads guilty to stealing NZ$250,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies from the exchange. The employee has returned the money and will not be charged.
The company, a former employee of the now-defunct New Zealand cryptocurrency exchange, reported that Cryptopia pleaded guilty to stealing nearly NZ$250,000 worth of cryptocurrency and customer data while working for the company. The employee, who requested a temporary suspension of the name, has since returned the digital assets and is requesting that the charges be dropped.
In a hearing before Christchurch District Court Judge Gerard Lynch, the former Cryptopia employee pleaded guilty to two counts and awaits conviction in October. The employee is held in reserve for theft by someone with a special relationship and the theft of assets in excess of NZ$1,000.
According to a statement from the hearing, the former employee had previously filed complaints about the security of private keys but without resolution. This prompted the employee to make an unauthorized copy of the private keys while at the company and store them on a USB drive.
The statement said that with a large number of private keys, the employee was able to access nearly $100 million worth of cryptocurrency in users’ wallets.
However, once the exchange went bankrupt and closed its doors, Cryptopia had no way of knowing if user accounts had been hacked and if any theft could go unnoticed. In September 2020, Grant Thornton, who is in charge of the exchange, noticed 13 unauthorized transactions on Cryptopia wallets that led to an investigation.
However, a week later, the employee gave up and admitted to stealing NZ$250,000. The perpetrator returned six stolen bitcoins to the exchange – he returned the remaining amount a few days later.
“The defendant admitted that he was frustrated with Cryptopia but also motivated by the belief that he could get away with the theft because he believed that no one would ever check their old deposit wallets,” the court summary read.
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