The District Prosecutor’s Office in Suwałki, a city in Poland, has revealed this Thursday that it has charged Marcin A. (the authority did not disclose the full name for legal reasons), the co-owner of BitMarket, for committing a crime, following an investigation into the exchange operating under the domain name BitMarket.pl.
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Suwałki has been overseeing the investigation into the Polish exchange, entrusted to the Department of Combating Cybercrime of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Olsztyn.
The investigation found that from mid-2015 until the 7th of July 2019, the people who were managing the company based in London, which acted as the operator of BitMarket, misled its customers, which led to users of the exchange losing at least 2,300 bitcoins, which amounts to around PLN 100 million ($25.3 million).
Following the investigation, Marcin A. was [translated]: “…charged with committing a crime in which, from May 2015 to July 7, 2019, in Olsztyn and other cities, via the Internet, acting on behalf of companies based in London and Seychelles jointly and in agreement with other persons, on the virtual currency exchange market operated under the bitmarket.pl domain, misleading its users 525 led them to an unfavorable disposition of property with a total value of PLN 22,662,288.”
Furthermore, Marcin A. has been accused of: “…acting in the name of a company based in London in 2019, selling shares in another company to Olsztyn, led him to an unfavorable disposition of property in the amount of PLN 120,000, assuring the buyer of the lack of obligations and good financial condition of the company , which misled him, because at the time of sale the company’s outstanding liabilities amounted to PLN 22,662,288.”
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Marcin Aszkielowicza confirms BitMarket hack
As Finance Magnates reported, BitMarket first shut down its operations in July. Initially, the exchange provided no reason for the closure, aside from “loss of liquidity.” However, rumors started to spread that the exchange had been hacked.
A couple of days after the exchange was closed, company director Marcin Aszkielowicza confirmed that BitMarket had in fact been hacked back in 2017 as a result of which “several users and technical accounts of the stock exchange lost more than 600 BTC.”
The executive laid the blame for the problems this hack has caused at the feet of prior operators of the exchange.
“The persons actually managing the stock exchange at the time, being aware of this immensely difficult situation, left me alone with the problem of a huge deficit,” said Aszkielowicza.
If found guilty, the current charges against Marcin A. could see him face up to 10 years of imprisonment.