Italian Court Orders Defunct Bit Grail Founder To Refund Missing Cryptos

By Prashant Jha

Francesco Firano, the founder of the now-defunct Bitgrail Exchange has been found guilty by an Italian court in the heist that claimed $170 Million worth of nano digital currency. The court ordered Firano to return as much of the assets as possible to its customers.

The Italian Bankruptcy court ordered that both the Big Grail exchange and its founder be declared bankrupt and all their assets must be seized. The law enforcers have already seized the Firano’s personal assets worth millions which include luxury cars, his personal property.

Digital Assets worth millions of dollars have been confiscated from the Bitgrail accounts and moved to a separate account managed by the trustees appointed by the court.

Firano Manipulated and Mishandled the Exchange Security

According to the report obtained from the court, Firano continuously mishandled the security and manipulated users Private key to transfer funds from their accounts to that of Exchange. Firano failed to put suitable security measures in place to avoid unauthorized withdrawal of the Nano cryptocurrency from its exchange.

The court noted that even after several cases of duplicate withdrawals which amounted to tens of millions of dollars, the founder failed to put a check on it and did not inform the users on the exchange of the fraudulent withdrawals

The court cited the example of one event on Feb 9, 2018, where millions of Nano went missing from the exchange, but in reality, the heist happened months earlier and Firano was aware of it.

Between the period of July 2017 and December 2018, a total of 10 million Nano cryptocurrency went missing, and even though the founder was aware of it, he did nothing to inform either his customers or the authorities.

Was Firano Laundering User’s Crypto Into His Personal Account?

The most damaging detail that might have tilted the case against Fiorano and also prove he might be laundering people’s crypto for his personal gain was that, right before announcing the $170 Million theft on the exchange, Firano moved 250 BTC( worth $1.8 million at that time) into his personal account from a different exchange Then he tried to withdraw money from a Bitcoin ATM associated with the same exchange

The expert for the case concluded,

Therefore it was the Bitgrail exchange that actually requested to the node multiple times to allow the funds to leave the wallet (funds that in fact, had already left the account after the first request) and not the Nanonetwork that allowed multiple withdrawals. The shortfall reported by Firano in February was caused by a transfer request generated by Bitgrail multiple times upon receiving a single request from the user.

Prashant Jha

As a content writer Prashant believes in presenting complex topics in simple laymen terms. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid reader.

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