OneCoin operated out of Bulgaria, and was founded by Greenwood and "Cryptoqueen" Ruja Ignatova, the latter of whom has been on Europol's most wanted list since May 2022. The fraud amounted to around $4 billion and affected at least 3.5 million victims.
- "Co-Founder Of Multibillion-Dollar Cryptocurrency Scheme “OneCoin” Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison", press release by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York [archive]
Simultaneously, Binance.US announced it would be cutting 1/3 of its employees, or more than 100 people. This is the second staffing cut since the SEC lawsuit was filed in June — Binance.US cut around 50 positions, then around 10% of employees, shortly after the lawsuit was announced. The primary Binance entity also fired more than 1,000 people in July.
CoinEx is based out of Hong Kong, and was recently forced to stop serving US customers as part of a settlement with the New York Attorney General which also required them to pay a $1.7 million fine.
Remilia is a very controversial group, particularly after it was exposed that leader Charlotte Fang was a major figure in a white supremacist cult known as Kali Yuga Accelerationism (abbreviated "kaliacc"), and involved in a 4chan suicide cult.
Fang announced the theft on September 11 in a tweet accompanied by a glitch art image derived from a photo of the Twin Towers engulfed in flames and smoke shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The team wrote in an announcement that they had no choice but to sell the treasury wallet to drain the liquidity pool, which is locked to... well, stop the project team from draining the project and rug-pulling. At the time of announcement, the project team had around 950 ETH (~$1.5 million) in the treasury wallet.
Some pointed out that they could simply set the tax to 0% and carry on without the hefty sales tax, but that didn't seem to appeal to the project's creators. Some also speculated that the team might just take the money and run after draining the LP.
On September 7, Fortress Trust disclosed that several customers had been "impacted by a third-party vendor" compromise. On September 8, Fortress Trust announced they had been acquired by Ripple. On September 11, The Block reported that Ripple had covered undisclosed losses to customers as a part of the acquisition deal. The losses were later disclosed to be around $15 million, and the third-party vendor was said to be a company called Retool, who blamed the compromise on a social engineering attack against one of their employees.
- Tweet thread by Fortress Trust [archive]
- "Ripple Acquires Crypto-Focused Chartered Trust Company Fortress Trust", CoinDesk [archive]
- "Ripple made Fortress customers hit by security incident whole as part of acquisition", The Block [archive]
- "Episode 125 – How to Steal Almost $100 Million: Prime Trust goes Bust", Crypto Critics' Corner [archive]
Bitcoiner Jameson Lopp speculated that the transaction "looks like an exchange or payment processor with buggy software" based on its transaction history. "The address in question that made the fee calculation error has the characteristics of a withdraw-only hot wallet from an enterprise," he wrote.
His observations were well-founded, as it later came out that the wallet belonged to the Paxos blockchain company, who attributed the overpayment to a bug. Luckily for Paxos, the miner who snapped up the outsized fee agreed to refund it.
However, the link was a scam, and anyone who connected their wallet risked having their wallet drained of its cryptocurrency and NFTs. Some blue-chip NFTs were stolen, including two CryptoPunks (a collection with a floor price of around 47 ETH, or $76,800). Altogether, stolen assets surpassed $650,000 in value within a few hours of the theft according to zachxbt, though this counts notoriously difficult-to-value NFTs.
The tweet was taken down within twenty minutes of being posted. All in all, posting a link to a wallet drainer was probably among the least effective things the attacker could do with the Twitter account of a person whose word can dramatically move markets.
It did seem to be something of a stark warning to some in the crypto world, however, who expressed sentiments along the lines of "if Vitalik can get hacked, anyone can."
In September 2022, the startup managed to raise $5 million from investors including TCG Crypto and 1kx. Either that money's run out, or they're cutting their losses early.
He was arrested in August 2022 after a year on the run. Now, he and his brother and sister have all been sentenced to 11,196 years in prison – sentences so over the top that one has to wonder if perhaps Turkish prosecutors are worried the Özers are some kind of crypto-focused vampire crime family. They will also pay a 135 million lira fine (~$5 million).