24-year old Joseph Kim is a Chicago trader charged by Federal prosecutors with wire fraud due to the USD $2.06 million worth of bitcoin he allegedly stole from his employer. According to United States Attorney John Lausch, Kim is currently the first in Chicago to be criminally prosecuted for stealing cryptocurrency. Prosecutors claimed that Kim was working for Consolidated Trading LLC as an assistant trader when he transferred cryptocurrency owner by his employer onto his personal account while also lying to management about his activity.
Only US$603,000 was recovered by Consolidated Trading LLC from the US$2.06 million stolen. A Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit declared that Kim sent an email to the owners of Consolidated – as well as four colleagues – admitting the digital currency transfers. However, Kim claimed that he had no intention to steal. A part of Kim’s email reads, “Until the end I was perversely trying to fix what I had already done..I can’t believe I did not stop myself when I had the money to give back, and I will live with that for the rest of my life. You have every apology I have to give, I am sorry to betray you all like this.”
Kim joined Consolidated in September at the same time that the company decided to engage in cryptocurrency trading. His crime began a mere weeks after joining. Kim eventually confessed to transferring Bitcoins from the accounts of Consolidated in order to cover his losses, personal investments, and margin calls. He claimed that he made the transfer onto a personal wallet he had control over. Prosecutors claim that Kim has described himself as a degenerate gambler or “degen”. He stated, “It was not my intention to steal for myself.” He added, “I was perversely trying to fix what I had already done. I can’t believe I did not stop.”