The US Department of Justice said it has arrested Rikesh Thapa, the former chief technology officer of a blockchain company, for allegedly defrauding his company of over $1 million.
The DOJ did not name the company in its Dec. 7 news release.
Thapa’s LinkedIn reveals that he co-founded the blockchain company Blockparty in 2017 and served as its CTO up until 2019.
According to the DOJ’s filing on Dec. 7, Thapa allegedly defrauded his company of cash and crypto assets worth over $1 million.
Back in 2018, the unnamed blockchain company had a banking challenge that caused it to send about $1 million to Thapa’s personal account for safekeeping. Unfortunately, the Founder and CTO mismanaged the funds on personal and luxurious expenses.
To conceal his crime, Thapa forged his bank statement to claim that held about $21 million. After much ado, he allegedly refused to return the $1 million to the company.
In another instance, Thapa conspired to sell about 174,285 of the blockchain company’s utility tokens for an undisclosed amount. He failed to remit the funds to the company, claiming that the cash he received from the investors were counterfeit.
Thapa was arrested on Oct. 7, 2022, by the DOJ. Speaking on the arrest, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:
“Rikesh Thapa allegedly betrayed his company’s trust, as he was responsible for the safeguarding of substantial amounts of money. Thapa ent to great lengths to cover up his frauds.”
Following his arrest, Thapa will face charges of wire fraud and risk imprisonment of up to 20 years in prison if proven guilty.