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Drug dealer is forced to surrender $1.4m in Bitcoin in Canada’s largest ever forfeiture

Canadian online drug dealer Matthew Phan has been ordered to pay back his entire $1.4m Bitcoin fortune by Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly in Toronto.  This instantly made the forfeiture the largest in Canadian legal history by some distance.

Phan tried in vain to convince local law enforcement he had accrued his Bitcoin legally via his other business activities including trading cryptocurrency on various exchanges but he failed to convince Judge Kelly who told her court:

“It is a reasonable inference to draw that payment for such illegal narcotics sales was made using Bitcoin that was found in the digital wallet on Mr. Phan’s computer.”

The case has not come at a good time for Bitcoin in Canada.  The reports come only a few months after the trading platform QuadrigaCX collapsed following the death of its CEO owing customers $190m. 

And within the last few days reports have surfaced that Canadian authorities have frozen assets estimated at $22m and prohibited co-founders Kevin Hobbs and Lisa Cheng from destroying or disposing of any as part of a fraud investigation into Vanbex IPO.

The court has claimed Vanbex raised CAN$30m (around  $22 million) in an initial coin offering (ICO) of their FUEL token in 2017, promising investors were promised the value of the token would boom on the back up of the imminent mass international adoption of of Etherparty, the smart contract system Vanbex had been building.

As I’m sure you’ve already guessed Etherparty never materialised which meant the expected take up and subsequent rises in FUEL’s value never happened.

These reports again underline the potential risks involved with investing and/or trading in cryptocurrency so if you believe you have been the victim of bitcoin, cryptocurrency or digital fraud and would like to discuss how best to start recovering your losses, please call us today on  020 7792 5649 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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MLA 2017 18 Shortlisted 2