An Italian court has ruled that Francesco Firano, founder of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail, was at fault for the disappearance of more than $170 million worth of the Nano digital currency on his exchange last year, and must return the missing funds. Seventeen million Nano were reportedly taken from the exchange, costing investors millions. Firano, who calls himself ‘The Bomber’ is now “required to return as much of the assets to his customers as possible”.
A scanned court document was uploaded to the Medium page BitGrailVictimsGroup detailing the ruling and the outcome. The documents show that Firano repeatedly abused security regarding the private keys of BitGrail users, including an alleged transfer of client funds into wallets that belonged to the exchange. He failed to put suitable safeguards in place to prevent repeat, unauthorized withdrawals of Nano from the exchange.
The court authorised the seizure of Firano’s personal assets, which will bring small comfort to investors affected by the high profile hack. To date, more than $1 million worth of assets have been annexed, including a luxury vehicle. Digital assets worth many millions of dollars have been confiscated from BitGrail accounts and move to accounts managed by court-appointed trustees.
Firano Must Return Missing BitGrail Funds
While Firano has been in a dispute with the Nano development team over who should ultimately be responsible for the hack, the court documents provided some closure. Firano, who alleges that the Nano team were at fault due to a security flaw in their currency, was ultimately named as responsible for the hack.
Firano was also criticized for keeping all of the exchange’s investment funds in a hot wallet, corroborating many people’s judgement that he was in over his head in terms of maintaining the platform’s security. The documents also reveal that BitGrail had been involved in earlier hacks which Firano was aware of, including $2.5 million stolen in July 2017 with an additional $7.5 million taken a scant three months later.