Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, the president of payments processor Crypto Capital, was reportedly extradited into Polish police custody from Greece on October 25, 2019.
Polish media sources have reported Lee’s entrance into Poland, escorted by a police detachment, in connection to money laundering for Colombian drug cartels through the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
The Bitfinex, Crypto Capital Connection
Following the arrest, Stuart Hoegner, general counsel at Bitfinex, issued a statement noting that Lee was detained by authorities in Greece several months before he was extradited to Poland and that Oz Yosef, another principal at Crypto Capital, has been indicted on three criminal counts by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Yosef, also known as Oz Joseph, has also been tied to a Panama shell company.
Hoegner also added context around Crypto Capital’s connection with Bitfinex.
“Crypto Capital processed certain funds for and on behalf of Bitfinex for several years,” per Hoegner’s statement. “During that period, Bitfinex relied upon various systemic representations from Crypto Capital, including from Molina and Yosef, that proved to be false. Among those representations, Crypto Capital regularly referred to its integrity, banking expertise, robust compliance programme and financial licenses.”
Bitfinex has been in a legal dispute with Crypto Capital for some time. Earlier in October 2019, Bitfinex filed a subpoena application in which it claimed it lost over $800 million because of criminal mismanagement by Crypto Capital. To make up for this loss, Bitfinex conducted a $1 billion private token sale in May 2019.
Funds Seized by Polish Government
Following Lee’s arrest, Bloomberg reported that Bitfinex has been trying to get back some $360 million that was seized from Crypto Capital’s accounts in a Polish bank as part of the investigation.
“Bitfinex is the victim of a fraud and is making its position clear to the relevant authorities, including those in Poland and the United States,” per Hoegner’s statement. “This week’s developments do nothing to affect or otherwise deter Bitfinex’s claims to funds in Poland or anywhere else. We will continue to work to recover all funds for and on behalf of our stakeholders.”
Landon Manning is a freelance writer for Bitcoin Magazine.