Disgruntled Employee Arrested for Allegedly Stealing $700,000 from Altcoin Trading Platform

Police in Tokyo arrested two men for allegedly stealing 78 million yen in bitcoin from the altcoin trading platform CoinExchange, which shut down last year.

According to the Japan Times, the Metropolitan Police Department’s cybercrime unit arrested Yuto Onitsuka, 25, and Takuma Sasaki, 28, over computer fraud charges related to the theft. The two are suspected of stealing the BTC from CoinExchange at the end of October 2018, one year before the platform shut down.

As CryptoGlobe reported at the time, CoinExchange was trading an average of $700,000 a day across 500 trading pairs, many of which included little-known altcoins with rather low trading volumes. The platform’s management wrote:

Unfortunately it is no longer economically viable for us to continue offering market services. The costs of providing the required level of security and support now outweigh our earnings.

The Japan Times reports that Onitsuka was an employee at the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange at the time, and had access to the company’s cryptocurrency wallets. Sources quoted him as saying he wanted to try and bankrupt CoinExchange as he wasn’t satisfied with the firm’s management at the time.

The report suggests Onitsuka knew Sasaki through an online bulletin board. The latter ended up getting the private keys to the cryptocurrency wallets through the disgruntled employee, and used them to move the BTC to other wallets controlled by the pair.

Some of the stolen crypto is believed to have been laundered as Sasaki’s bank account showed large sums of money. He reportedly withdrew 6 million yen, close to $55,000, which were used to travel.

Featured image via Pixabay.