- Former Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell, is under FBI investigation, accused of hacking and harassment against a non-profit organization.
- The FBI has reportedly executed a search warrant at Powell’s residence in Los Angeles, confiscating electronic devices.
Kraken’s Ex-CEO Jesse Powell Entangled in Federal Investigation
Jesse Powell, the co-founder and former CEO of renowned cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, is now embroiled in a federal investigation. Powell stands accused of hacking and harassing the Verge Center for the Arts, a non-profit organization. The charges led the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search Powell’s Los Angeles home.
Following his departure from the position of CEO in September 2022, Powell continued to focus on product development at Kraken. The news of the current investigation comes after Kraken itself underwent scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly offering unregistered securities in the United States, a matter that was resolved with a settlement earlier in February 2023.
Powell Denies Wrongdoing Amid Investigation
As the news of the investigation broke, reports from The New York Times highlighted the non-profit’s accusations. The Verge Center for the Arts alleges that Powell interfered with its computer accounts, blocking access to emails and other essential communication channels.
Despite these serious allegations, Powell firmly denies any wrongdoing linked to the investigation.
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Kraken, while distancing itself from the ongoing inquiry, acknowledged the situation, stating,
“Kraken has been made aware that former CEO Jesse Powell is involved in a civil dispute with a nonprofit art gallery, the Verge Center for the Arts. We understand there is a federal investigation open and search warrants were executed to gather more information about the Verge matter. The US Attorney has advised us that Kraken is not a part of the investigation in any way.”
Thursday’s raid led to the FBI seizing electronic devices from Powell’s residence, a move considered standard procedure in such investigations. As this saga unfolds, it remains a significant point of interest within the cryptocurrency community, underlining the continuous need for stringent governance and ethics within the industry.
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