Russian law firm Zheleznikov and Partners (ZP) claims that 200,000 BTC, worth more than $2 billion, lost in the infamous Mt. Gox hack of 2014 is recoverable.
Mt. Gox Funds Recoverable
According to a Q&A outline with former BBC journalist Andy Pag published Sept. 12, the Moscow-based law firm explained how 200,000 of the 850,000 lost BTC could be recovered.
ZP claims to have identified Russians nationals who received stolen bitcoin from the hack, and said that law enforcement could cut a deal with such individuals to return the funds to creditors. The law firm also contacted Mt. Gox creditors earlier in the year, outlining how they could take legal action against the Russian nationals to obtain the stolen bitcoin.
In particular, the group has highlighted Alexander Vinnik, the alleged operator of defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, as a potential recipient of some of the stolen funds.
Alexander Zheleznikov, the managing partner of ZP Legal, said that Russian authorities are investigating Vinnik and encouraged Mt. Gox creditors to come forth as victims in the pending case.
Our plan is to represent the Mt.Gox creditors and help them report to Russian law enforcement so that the investigators could establish the connection between the stolen funds from Mt Gox, the operations of BTC-e and WEX, using Vinnik’s case.
If our assumptions of those connections are correct, the [thieves] will ultimately come forward and plead guilty, and to reduce the punishment, they will offer to recover a part of the funds. If they don’t, they will be deemed guilty by law enforcement, and then there will be a chance to sue them for damages based on the criminal case.
While ZP Legal may be providing a way for Mt. Gox creditors to obtain more than $2 billion in lost funds, the firm is planning to charge up to 75% of the recovered sum if their legal action proves successful.
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