The High Court has granted temporary orders freezing the assets of an accounts manager who is alleged to have misappropriated over €460,000 worth of cryptocurrency payments due to a company he has been working for.
Light Technology Limited, which trades under the name of Transak. has claimed before the court that Niall Ryan, from Glanmahon Road, Donnycarney, Dublin diverted cryptocurrency payments due to the company from its customers into eight online or digital wallets allegedly controlled by him.
The defendant is allegedly employed by an Irish company, which subcontracted him to Light Technology to work from Ireland as an account manager.
It is claimed that he dealt with invoicing and commission payments to plaintiff’s customers and partners.
The plaintiff is a UK regulated company with a registered address in London, that provides an app-based service that allows its users to buy and sell cryptocurrency through its customer’s websites or apps.
The plaintiff claims that in recent days it discovered that since last March several payments of cryptocurrency due to it were diverted to the wallets it alleges are controlled by Mr Ryan.
It is claimed the payments were made on foot of invoices sent by Mr Ryan where it is alleged, he changed the wallet addressees, which were described as being similar to IBAN addresses, on the invoices from those belonging to the company to wallets controlled by him.
It is claimed that the alleged fraud was discovered earlier this month when the actual revenue the company expected to receive did not match expected revenue on accounts managed by Mr Ryan.
The court heard that in communications with representatives with the company Mr Ryan had made admissions regarding the allegedly missing monies and said that he has alcohol and gambling issues.
Earlier this week the company claims Mr Ryan admitted doing wrong and regretting his actions, and that he was trying to fix it, and that he wished to return the funds.
However, he had not fulfilled promises made to the company to return the funds, Light Technology’s counsel Una Tighe SC told the court on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Ryan’s promise to return the monies, counsel said, was “utter tosh”, and what had occurred in this instance amounted to a fraud or a theft of monies due to her client.
The company said it was further concerned and had come to court seeking orders because at the same time Mr Ryan had been making admissions, he had also indicated to the firm’s clients that he was leaving the firm, going on gardening leave and had been deleting chat histories with business partners.
Light Technology obtained an interim injunction preventing Mr Ryan from dissipating or moving any cryptocurrency held in the wallets.
He has also been ordered not to reduce, dissipate or reduce his assets below a value of $478,000 or €462,000.
The company also wants him to provide information to it about where the funds have gone.
The matter came before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart during Thursday’s vacation sitting of the High Court. The judge, on an ex-parte basis, said she was satisfied to grant a temporary injunction restraining the defendant from dissipating his assets below €462,000 or moving any funds out of the wallets identified by the plaintiff.
The judge, noting the urgency of the matter, made the case returnable to a date next week.