Crypto-finance company executive upholds dismissal on charges of ‘fraudulently embezzling’ $730,000


Sameer Ismail, chief compliance officer at crypto-finance firm Uphold, has been fired following fraud charges.

What happened: According to a Friday Coindesk report, Uphold said Ismail “wrongly and fraudulently misappropriated” company and user funds totaling £516,242, the equivalent of around $730,500.

Ismail denied the charges and in turn accused the company of launching a retaliatory attack against him.

“I categorically disagree. It’s messy. This allegation on their part was in direct response to me filing a breach of contract against them,” he said.

All funds would have been replaced.

Possible missed warning signs: Prior to working at Uphold, Ismail served as chief compliance officer at cryptocurrency exchange Luno and chief risk officer at crypto exchange Coinify. He was also previously hired by the Financial Conduct Authority to speak on financial crime and host numerous panels on cryptocurrency regulation, according to Coindesk.

“Bad actors are often hard to fight, but we were able, with the help of our regulator, to uncover Mr. Ismail’s deception before he could cause significant damage,” a spokesperson said. Uphold to media. prompt legal action against Mr. Ismail and reported his actions to the appropriate regulators and police. We have engaged a forensic investigator and conducted a thorough review of our policies and procedures. »

Luno also confirmed that there was a case involving Ismail and issues with spending on a company credit card. Although Luno “does not comment generally on individual employee issues”, he wanted to clarify that no customer funds were affected because “the issue involved personal expense claims on a credit card from business”. The case was resolved in late 2020 when a court ruled in favor of the company.

An anonymous certified private investigator also went so far as to suggest that Ismail is “something of an expert in document forgery”. He allegedly photoshopped a fake seizure order from the UK’s National Crime Agency for £103,000 and also created a fake invoice for an FCA crypto assets license for £10,000.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” said the investigator. “He used a number of methods such as creating fake email leads from customers requesting that their crypto be sent to external wallets. These wallets were actually controlled by Sameer.

Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash.

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