US businesssman gets High Court order in effort to find €1.5m in stolen bitcoin

A US based businessman who claims more than $1.8 million (€1.5 million) worth of the online currency bitcoin was stolen from him has secured an order from the High Court as part of his efforts to track down his money.

Titus Williams, from Springfield, Missouri, claims he purchased 33.7 bitcoin in February of this year.

He claims he was taken from his personal Blockchain cryptocurrency online wallet some days later.

He believes his money has been lodged in the account of an Irish registered entity in the name of a person currently unknown to him and his lawyers.

Mr Williams, who works in the property sector, made a complaint to the FBI and Springfield police about the missing bitcoin, and also hired a specialist cryptographic tracing firm to help track down his money.

As a result of those investigations, Mr Williams claims 2.89 of his Bitcoin, worth some US$160,000, was in two transactions transferred to an account, of an unknown person, to an account maintained by an entity which is part of the Coinbase group.

Coinbase Global, which is headquartered in the US, provides services as a digital currency wallet and money transmission platform that allows merchants exchange digital currencies like bitcoin.

The account was frozen, and in court proceedings in the US, Mr Williams discovered the unknown account holder was based in the UK, and is a customer of Irish registered Coinbase Europe Ltd, part of the Coinbase group.

Mr Williams has been acknowledged by both the US authorities and Coinbase as a victim of theft, the court also heard.

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He sought information about the account holder, but in order to get it was advised he would have to make such an application against Coinbase’s Irish registered subsidiary.

He was also informed Coinbase Europe would not provide Mr Williams’ representatives with any information about the account holder, unless it was ordered to do so by a court.

Mr Williams, represented by Joe Jeffers Bl, applied to the High Court in Dublin for orders directing Coinbase Europe to provide him, within a week, with all information in its possession that will assist in revealing the identity of the unknown account holder.

The court heard, once the account holder’s identity is known, Mr Titus will know what jurisdiction to bring proceedings against the wrongdoer.

Coinbase Europe, represented by Tom Murphy Bl, consented to Mr Williams’ application to be provided with the information.

In a ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Senan Allen said he was satisfied it was appropriate to make the order sought.


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