French police has arrested a 37-year old businessman for stealing 182 Bitcoins worth more than $1.3 million from his former business partners.
As reported by LeParisien, the accused founded a company along with his two friends in 2013; however, after three years, he was fired from the company due to disagreement over business strategy.
As he was aware of the internal operations of the company, he started to slowly siphon Bitcoins but not making any large transactions, which would raise the alarm.
The theft was brought to light when the company’s employees noticed suspicious transfers from its Bitcoin wallet between December 2018 to January 2019. This, according to the local report, is the third-largest crypto theft case in France to date.
The investigation led to the perpetrator as the authorities found the Bitcoin wallet addresses from which the funds were withdrawn belonged to the co-founders of the company.
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After the arrest, the accused also admitted that he siphoned the funds from his business partners “out of revenge” for his dismissal from the company.
French authorities brought charges of theft, money laundering, and fraudulent changes against the automated data processing system.
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Though charges resemble any other theft case, it has the potential to make a major impact as the French law does not recognize digital assets as “money” yet.
Residing abroad, the perpetrator was detained on December 22, upon arrival in his home country. Despite the prosecutor’s push for a permanent arrest, he was released by a court and kept under “strict judicial supervision.”
Earlier this month, US law enforcement indicted a 19-year-old for stealing crypto using the SIM technique. He siphoned over $1 million worth crypto from victims spread across 20 states in the country.