The owner and founder of hacked Italian cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail, Francesco Firano has been ordered by the court to return as much of the stolen assets as possible to the customers.
The Bit Grail Victims Group (BGVG) released the scans of the court decision on Medium on Jan. 28. The Italian Bankruptcy Court published the sentence on Jan. 21, a BGVG post on the same day explained the court sentence “the court concluded that both Bitgrail and Mr. Firano, personally, be declared bankrupt, authorizing seizures of many of Mr. Firano’s personal assets.”
As per the post, the Italian authorities have already seized over $1 million in personal Firano’s assets, including his car. It also noted “millions of dollars in cryptocurrency assets have been seized from Bitgrail’s exchange accounts and moved to accounts managed by trustees appointed by the Court.”
The court ruling further explains “it was the BitGrail exchange that [because of a software flaw] actually requested to the node multiple times to allow the funds to leave the wallet” and “not the Nano network that allowed the multiple withdrawals. Furthermore, the exchange also reportedly stored all of its Nano cryptocurrency holdings in a “hot wallet,” which compromised its security.
In July 2017, 2.5 million Nano were stolen from the exchange. The court notes that Firano has been aware of the hack and announced that the involved exchange accounts have been blacklisted on Twitter in the same month.
According to the ruling, in October of the same year, just three months later another 7.5 million Nano was stolen. Firano converted the central wallet into a cold wallet, in December 2017 and the exchange’s activity became reportedly intermittent. The court was further informed by the prosecutors that Firano deposited a total of 230 Bitcoins (BTC) in his personal account on a cryptocurrency exchange between Feb. 2 and Feb. 5 in 2018. Notably just days before announcing the loss of the stolen assets.
Two United States law firms have already filed a lawsuit against the developers of Nano as well as BitGrail. The lawsuit alleges that Nano and “key members of its core team” violated federal securities laws and directed investors to open accounts and place funds in “little known, and severely troubled” Italian cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail.
News broke about the hack when Firano allegedly asked Nano developers to alter the ledger by the means of a hard fork to restore the missing funds in February last year.