Recent reports have emerged concerning a senior executive at a Vancouver, British Columbia-based marketing firm, who allegedly took advantage of his employer’s ignorance concerning digital currencies, disappearing with digital assets worth millions of US dollars.
Arnold (not to be confused with Arnold Schwarzenegger), allegedly carted away his company’s digital assets after leaving the company. The marketing firm affected by the scam, Shair.Com Global Digital Services, reportedly filed a lawsuit against Jason Arnold, accusing him of theft of more than US$5.3 million.
Arnold, who happens to be the former chief operating officer of the firm stole the company’s funds and subsequently claimed it was all lost because his company-issued laptop ‘died.’ The matter is being presided by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and the court ruled last month that Arnold should turn over the computer regardless of its ‘life or death.’
The premise to begin investment in digital currencies was taken five years ago, according to Shair.com, which is the plaintiff. Arnold who started with the company has been subsequently promoted from then being the most knowledgeable in the firm with regards to digital assets, and he was given the assignment of exploring the relatively new but evolving project.
The following year, Arnold informed his employers he had set up a bitcoin wallet and a backup also, and thus subsequently received US$14,000 to buy bitcoin which would now be worth US$172,000 or roughly 5 million US dollars, in Whitecoin (XWC), by the time it has been converted. All this revealed after an investigation by an agency hired by Shair.com. The statement by the Judge read:
“The investigation was unable to determine the current location or value of digital currencies owned by the plaintiff, but the plaintiff alleges that the [C]$18,500 in Bitcoin purchased by it in June and August 2014, if it remained in Bitcoin, would have a current value of approximately [C]$225,000,” Skolrood, the judge communicated in his ruling. “Had all that Bitcoin been converted to Whitecoin, the current value would be approximately $5.3 million US.”
According to the investigation, it was also discovered that Arnold had been acquiring bitcoin even as of 2014 in the company’s name without the company’s knowledge.
Arnold reportedly resigned from the company last year April although he remained a shareholder, and it was until the end of 2017 that it was discovered the company-issued laptop had not been given back. Also, Arnold had not made the backup of any bitcoin wallet on the company’s Citrix servers has he had claimed. This was when the sham was found out.
The judge has ruled that Arnold’s assets worth more than $2 million be ceased and has denied all applications for it to be freed.