According to various reports, users of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mintpal have received an email from the UK’s Avon and Somerset Economic Crime Team. The team’s detective constable, Charlotte Suter, has stated the police force is currently investigating the trading platform’s demise.
Operation Sparrow: Investigating Mintpal, Moolah, and Its Former Owner
A few years ago the cryptocurrency exchange Mintpal was a popular trading platform among digital asset traders. Before Mintpal’s lights flickered and then finally shut off, the platform exchanged millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency daily. Back in 2014, the exchange was purchased by Moolah, a startup created by an individual named Ryan Kennedy or ‘Alex Green.’ Luckily for some Mintpal users, the warning signs came early as the platform’s transformation to “Mintpal 2.0” was a complete disaster, although after a day or so later it was too late. Much like the Mt Gox and Cryptsy fiascos, the exchange suddenly disappeared, while rumors of hacks and missing funds circulated throughout the community weeks before the website went offline. According to rumors throughout many crypto-forums, Kennedy allegedly possesses the 3700 BTC stolen from the platform. Now according to former users of Mintpal, emails with a subject called ‘Operation Sparrow’ have been sent to traders who lost funds on the exchange and a survey link.
“Operation Sparrow is an ongoing UK fraud investigation into the activities of Moolah and its former CEO Ryan Kennedy, also known as Alex Green,” explains the email’s author, detective constable Charlotte Suter. “The investigation focuses on Kennedy’s acquisition of Mintpal in 2014 and the subsequent disappearance and dispersal of customers’ funds from the exchange. Kennedy has been charged with a number of fraud offenses in relation to these matters and is due to face trial at Bristol Crown Court.”
A Survey to Help Identify Victims Quickly and Efficiently
The email continues to explain that investigators are contacting users who may be victims of Mintpal’s fraud or have incurred a financial loss. Constable Suter says there are almost fourteen thousand individuals negatively affected by the trading platform’s actions.
“At this stage of the investigation I am unable to confirm whether there will be any possibility of financial compensation,” details the Constable’s email. “I should be grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete the attached survey that will assist us in identifying potential victims more quickly and efficiently. Please submit your completed questionnaire by 31st January 2018. Responses received after this date will not be processed.”
According to other reports the survey is legitimate as the journalist, David Board, and others have confirmed the email was sent by the Avon and Somerset constables’ office. Board says the Avon and Somerset Police force verified that the investigation was indeed real and the officer states:
I can confirm that this is a genuine request from the Economic Crime Team and a dedicated mailbox has been set up to capture all of the surveys completed.
Investigating Another Unsolved Crypto-Mystery
The survey asks nineteen questions with the most personal being a full name, birthdate, the number of funds held on Mintpal, and an email address. The survey also asks the specific date the person first registered on and if they “lost cryptocurrency held on the Mintpal platform between 19th August and 19th October 2014.” The survey asks if the individual can provide evidence such as emails, screenshots, receipts and if they were able to withdraw any funds at all.
The collapse of Mintpal is just one of the many cryptocurrency exchanges that fell by the wayside over the years but still remains a mystery. It seems the Avon and Somerset Police want to uncover this crypto-conundrum, and the Moolah CEO is still the prime suspect.
What do you think about UK detectives putting effort into investigating the demise of the Mintpal trading platform? Do you think the investigation may be fruitful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, and Shutterstock.
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Author: Jamie Redman