A Chicago based trader stole over $2 billion in Bitcoin and Litecoin and is now serving 20 years in prison.
If you are into cryptocurrency world, then it won’t seem like a bad idea career path to work as a cryptocurrency trader in South Korea, and then move on to joining Consolidated Trading LLC as a bond trader.
Joseph Kim, a 24-year-old did just that and joined Consolidated Trading LLC in July 2016, where its new department wanted to explore the crypto world, however, Joseph Kim stole over $2 million from them in Litecoin and Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
The unit was started in 2017 and Joseph Kim joined around the same time. At the time of the joining, he seized all his personal cryptocurrency accounts and told the employer just that. He did so to avoid any conflict of interest with his employer.
But a while after joining the company he transferred 980 Litecoins (worth $48,000) on a weekend. When he was questioned on this, he told he did so for safety reasons as he was facing a few issues with the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. After this, he even said that he transferred the funds to a consolidated wallet.
After a few months, he gains transferred the cryptocurrency, 55 Bitcoins this time to an unknown account from Unconsolidated. For this, he gave a reason that the account has been blocked and after unblocking it he will transfer back the Bitcoins, however, he only transferred back the 27 Bitcoins and the rest 28 he kept it with himself. Those 55 bitcoins were of a value of $433,000.
Further, he again repeated his action of transferring the Bitcoins to his personal wallet from the company’s account, 284 Bitcoins this time, which was of worth $2.8 billion. Out of these, he transferred back the 102 Bitcoins to the personal account and the rest he sent it to another account. Some of the amount he even lost in his personal trading.
When he was confronted of all the dealings, he confessed that some portion he was using for his personal investments through the 55 Bitcoins and to cover those losses he kept stealing from the company. When he was arrested, he also confessed that he was a degenerate gambler and also tried to convert the stolen Litecoins to Bitcoins for his personal gains.
Due to this the company lost over $603,000, even after recovering 144 Bitcoins, all this because of rogue gambling habits. Kim also said in an Email to his seniors that, “It was not my intention to steal for myself. I was perversely trying to fix what I had already done. I can’t believe I did not stop.”
This shows that cryptocurrency has opened a new avenue of gambling. Joseph Kim has been charged with fraud by the US Authorities for which he would have to serve 20 years in prison. Although he did set a record, he is the first person to be caught for a wire fraud related to cryptocurrencies.