Bitcoin exchange owners are notoriously known for being in trouble with the law. From the imprisonment of Mark Karpelès, the CEO of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox to the Cripsty exchange case, many have found themselves facing the law on money related charges. This time, the CEO, CTO and head of IT of a well-known Bitcoin exchange are facing charges of drug possession and improper exhibition of a dangerous firearm.
The aforementioned exchange is Paxful, a peer to peer market in which users are allowed to buy and sell Bitcoins with alternative payment methods like paypal and amazon/ebay gift cards. The exchange is known to be a breeding ground for scam artists that prey on sellers that accept refundable methods and use the exchange as a method to cash out from hacked paypal accounts, bought on deepweb markets.
It all started on Friday when Artur Shaback, head of IT at Paxful was spotted by local area residents being photographed by Ivan Suhharev, CTO of Paxful, with a mask over his face while holding an automatic rifle on the balcony of a Del Rio Apartment penthouse on 1100 Collins Avenue, Miami. The apartment belongs to Mohamed Yousseff, CEO of Paxful. This, apparently, isn’t new to the exchange operators, as a quick look through social media was enough to discover more pictures of them toting Yousseff’s gun.
The Police was called to investigate and surrounded the apartment where they found Artur Shaback, Ivan Suhharev and Mohamed Azab Yousseff. After searching the apartment, Police found a switchblade, an AR-15 with 500 round live ammo along with a box containing cocaine, hashish and drug paraphernalia. Federal agents were also on the scene after several people dialed 911 in panic.
The trio was released the following day after posting bail and they will face another bond hearing shortly. While only Yousseff faces charges of hashish and cocaine possession with the intent to distribute, all 3 of the Paxful employees mentioned will face charges of improper exhibition of a dangerous firearm. Even though police is still investigating the legality of the firearm and ammunition, Mohamed Youssef could face up to 5 years in prison on drug charges.
Paxful is yet to make an official comment regarding the situation, but trading will continue as usual on the exchange, according to website moderators.