The former chief technology officer and co-founder of Blockparty, a blockchain events startup, has been arrested by authorities in the US on suspicion of stealing more than $1 Million worth of crypto and fiat combined from the company.
Rikesh Thapa was charged with wire fraud by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), which alleges that he stole money held on his company’s behalf in a personal bank account and that he embezzled upwards of 10 BTC from Blockparty’s holdings.
According to the complaint, the money had been used by Thapa for his own personal expenses like spending on nightclubs, country tours, and buying expensive branded apparel.
Michael Driscollaid who’s the FBI agent in charge said in a statement:
The defendant repeatedly stole from and defrauded the victim company, which he co-founded, in order to fund a luxurious personal lifestyle.
The FBI will continue to work in order to ensure perpetrators willing to scam people & private businesses are held accountable in the criminal justice system, he stated.
To avoid detection, Rikesh falsified his trading records and deleted all of his email history and in July of 2019, he sent the victim company’s CEO a fraudulent transaction report which misrepresented Bitcoin transactions.
In yet another facet of the scheme, Rikesh stole Blockparty’s utility tokens and sold them to interested parties for cash. It’s reported that Rikesh sold almost 174,285 of Blockparty’s tokens but in a twist of fate, he later determined that the cash received was counterfeit.
According to the FBI, these violations occurred between December 2017 and September 2019. Thapa left Blockparty in December 2019, according to his social media profile.
He later established VerdeBlocks, a business that promised to make it possible to transition from conventional to renewable energy sources via Hedra contracts.
Mr. Thapa is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a possible 20-year jail sentence.