Moolah founder and former MintPal operator Ryan Kennedy faced his first court hearing last week in regard to accusations of fraud and money laundering.
Kennedy, 30, operated several companies under the alias Alex Green and allegedly stole more than £1 million ($1.33 million) in bitcoin in 2014. As CCN reported at the time, Green abruptly closed Moolah and MintPal–two popular altcoin exchanges–in October of that year, citing high operating costs and a lack of funding. However, the ordeal was suspicious, and holes quickly began to appear in Green’s story.
Moolah had served as one of the primary exchanges for the Dogecoin community, so prominent figures including Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer began looking into Green’s past. They discovered that Green was actually Ryan Kennedy, a longtime cryptocurrency scammer. Green initially denied the accusations, but personal associates came forward and confirmed that he and Kennedy were the same person.
Then, MintPal employees revealed that Kennedy had absconded with a portion of the user funds stored on the platform. Included in the theft was the 750 BTC Syscoin had raised during its initial coin offering (ICO), which Moopay–one of Kennedy’s companies–was holding in escrow. Syscoin took legal action against Kennedy successfully obtained an injunction against him from a U.K. judge.
U.K. investigators spent three years building a case against Kennedy, which is believed to be the first cryptocurrency-related fraud case to be tried in the country. Prosecutors expect to introduce evidence from several nations, including the United States and Finland.
As reported by the Bath Chronicle, Kennedy–who was convicted on several counts of rape in 2016 and is currently serving an 11-year sentence–appeared in the Bristol Crown Court via video link and denied the eight charges against him. His next court hearing will take place on December 18, but his trial is not scheduled to begin until September 3, 2018.
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