Around 30 people have been formally charged in Japan with trading almost $100 million worth of digital assets while knowing they had been stolen three years ago.
The stolen cryptocurrency is a portion of the $560 million worth of XEM and other cryptocurrencies siphoned off the Tokyo-based Coincheck exchange in a massive January 2018 hack.
The 30 individuals are alleged to have traded more than 10 billion yen (US$96 million) based on the exchange rate at the time of the theft when XEM was around its all-time high of $1.6. Prices today are well below that at around $0.21, according to CoinMarketCap.
Some of the suspects involved in the arrest allegedly exchanged their illicitly traded digital currencies for fiat currency at various legal exchanges in Japan and overseas, netting large profits.
The identities of those who hacked Coincheck still remain unknown.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department will soon finalize its probe into those that exchanged the stolen tokens as the statute of limitations is approaching, according to Mainichi's report.
Two individuals whose trading volumes greatly exceeded others were arrested in March 2020, while the other suspects were charged a later date. The 30 are residents of Japan and have been referred to prosecutors following the charges.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.