Coinbase settles a $1 million fraud dispute

Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) has reached an agreement with a person who claimed that he lost 80 SegWitCoin (BTC) from an email phishing attack. According to a report, lawyers involved in the case have facilitated a transfer from the hacker involved to the hacking victim in what looks to be a resolution of the matter.

According to the suit, Liam Robertson, the manager of Alphabit, claimed that more than a million dollars of BTC was taken from his account from an email phishing attack. Robertson claimed that he had 100 BTC in a transfer, but that hackers were able to access his funds before the investment process was completed. The BTC was deposited in a different account not owned by Robertson.

After an investigation was conducted, it was discovered that 80 BTC had been transferred to Coinbase, while 15 BTC has gone to an account on LocalBitcoins and 5 BTC to an offline wallet. In August, Robertson was awarded an asset preservation accord which barred Coinbase from transferring the funds. He later was able to get a Bankers Trust Oder which required Coinbase to reveal who was the controller of the wallet that contained the cryptocurrency.

The attorneys representing Robertson hailed this as a big victory for victims of fraud. Not only were they able to bar the service from transferring the stolen cryptocurrency, but were able to open the door for future disputes to be resolved in courts in England and in Wales. Now that these digital assets will be treated as property, it should become a warning to hackers and other scammers that legal action can be taken against.

In May, a task force launched by the government of the U.K. sought to determine the status of crypto assets under British law. The task force did not make a conclusive determination as to the legal status of digital assets, but this action could likely expedite that matter.

The loss of digital assets each year is reaching ridiculous proportions. According to the cybersecurity firm CipherTrace, thefts, scams, and other illegal means have resulted in the loss of $4.3 billion so far this year, and there is still almost 4 months remaining. It seems that almost every month there are four are five cases reported internationally of scams and schemes that resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars. This is causing law enforcement officials to start taking a more proactive approach to stopping these kinds of activities.

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