Hacker steals $1.3M in BTC from ex-colleagues in ‘act of revenge’

A tech entrepreneur in France is facing criminal charges after he allegedly stole over $1.3 million in BTC from a startup he was once part of. The man was dismissed from his post in the startup after a leadership dispute and in an act of revenge, he stole 182 BTCs.

The 37-year-old man was part of an IT startup founded in 2013 in Paris. Together with his partners, they wanted to become part of the ballooning community of ‘ultra-valued’ tech startups. According to local news outlet Le Parisien, the startup found great success and was quickly growing. However, a conflict rose between the founders and the suspect was ousted from his position in the company.

Following the ousting, he moved to a neighboring country but his bitterness over the dismissal from a company he had helped build led him to plan an act of revenge against it. He is alleged to have hacked into the company’s systems and stolen 182 BTCs. To avoid detection, he made sure to withdraw just below the alert threshold which would have notified the company of the illicit activities. Between December 2018 and January 2019, the remaining executives noticed they had lost the 182 BTCs, which were worth $1.3 million at press time.

The executives reported the issue to the French C3N digital crime-fighting center. After thorough investigations, the investigators managed to track the stolen cryptos to the former executive. He was arrested on December 20 after jetting into France from Calvados.

Once in custody, he confirmed he stole the crypto as an act of revenge for the dismissal from the startup. The authorities seized his private keys and took over the stolen crypto. They have since transferred most of it to AGRASC, the French agency that takes charge of any assets seized in the course of a criminal investigation. The presiding judge in the case subjected the suspect to travel restrictions as he awaits his trial, even though the prosecutors were pushing for his detention, the report revealed.

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