- Rikesh Thapa, who served as the CTO of Blockparty from 2017 to 2019, stole 10 Bitcoin from the business and fabricated trading records to hide his theft.
- The co-founder of blockchain event firm Blockparty was detained today and accused by the FBI of embezzling $1 million in cash and cryptocurrency from the business to buy luxury items.
- Thapa spent the stolen money on nightclubs, travel, and clothing before forging records once more to conceal his true spending patterns.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed in Manhattan federal court, the prosecution claims that Thapa stole $1 million from the business to keep in “safekeeping” while it sought to diversify its banking options in case its primary bank decided against doing business with cryptocurrency companies.
He allegedly used the money to pay for nightclubs, travel, clothing, and other personal costs. Thapa allegedly traveled to Italy in July 2019 to illegally sell some of the business’s native cryptocurrency for what proved to be fake money.
In addition, the prosecution claims that Thapa took Blockparty’s utility tokens, met with potential investors, and persuaded them to pay cash for the assets without informing the CEO of the business, allowing him to keep the investment.
Thapa is charged with taking bitcoin from the business and deleting the chief executive’s email account to hide the theft. Thapa is accused of one count of wire fraud and was apprehended in Southern California.
The case arises amid growing unease in the cryptocurrency sector, which is going through a downturn that has been made worse by the failure of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Thapa, Shiv Madan, and Vladislav Ginzburg introduced Blockparty in 2017, a platform for NFT trading and event tickets.