Business

Dennis Wafula

Winklevoss twins take Charlie Shrem to court over alleged $32M crypto theft

The Winklevoss brothers are suing Charlie Shrem, claiming the crypto investor and entrepreneur owes them some 5,000 cryptocurrency worth $32 million from a previous business deal.

Last week, The New York Times reported that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have filed a lawsuit against Shrem—who they claimed acted as their first crypto adviser—in September. Shrem previously served a year in prison in 2016 over charges of money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business related to BitInstant exchange he had created.

In the lawsuit, the brothers said Shrem first accepted $750,000 to buy BTC on their behalf in 2012. Several months later, the twins gave him an additional $250,000 to purchase additional crypto.

At the time, one BTC was going for $12.50. Shrem allegedly turned over $189,000 worth of crypto to the brothers, and failed to deliver the rest. The lawsuit claimed that two brothers tried to get the remaining crypto from Shrem, but their efforts were in vain. The brothers eventually brought in an accountant who documented the missing funds.

Cameron and Tyler believed Shrem used their BTC to acquire new extravagant properties. After his release from prison two years ago, Shrem had purchased a few highly expensive items despite previously claiming that he did not have money, according to reports. The man reportedly bought two Maserati sports cars, property in Florida worth $2 million, and two powerboats.

In their lawsuit, the twins stated that unless Shrem had stumbled upon some jackpot in the last couple of years since he left prison, he is likely to be using money from their crypto for his recent purchases. A judge who worked on his previous trial has frozen some of Shrem’s properties.

While speaking to reporters, Brian Klein, Shrem’s lawyer stated that his client plans to defend himself vigorously and clear his name.

Shrem has been involved in other cryptocurrency scandals in that last years. He was arrested in 2014 after federal authorities accused him of knowingly using his company, BitInstant to sell crypto to people wishing to buy drugs online.

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