The disgruntled owner of Bit2C, Israel’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against a popular Israeli crypto wallet he alleges pulled an exit scam and defrauded him of his money.
News of the lawsuit, which was filed in Israel last month, first surfaced this week in Israeli financial publication Globes.
Bit2C CEO Eli Bejerano, of Tel Aviv, alleges that BT360 refused to return 40 Bitcoin he provided it as part of pilot projects in 2019. According to the suit, Bit2C had been working with BT360 on a pilot for a Bitcoin savings account and a loan product.
“They didn't pay back the money,” Bejerano told Decrypt, who also claimed that “parts of the software and application were not real. There was nothing behind the site.”
Erez Fischler, BT360’s former CEO, told Decrypt that the lawsuit was “not against” him, but his former Eyal Sadeh, the owner of the site. The lawsuit did however name both men. Fischler declined to comment further and Sadeh could not be reached for comment.
Bejerano alleged that when he put the money in the savings account, March 2019, BT360’s employees calculated his interest manually. But after three months, the payments stopped—and BT360 wouldn’t give Bejerano his money back, he said.
The same happened for the interest-bearing loans product, Bejerano said. In April 2019, he took out a loan from Bit2C and staked 20 Bitcoin as collateral. But when he repaid it in full in September, BT360 wouldn’t return his collateral, he claimed in his lawsuit.
A copy of the lawsuit, which was filed in Tel Aviv’s Magistrate’s court, provided to Decrypt asserts that Bejerano is a “victim of a pre-planned scam against him.” The pilot projects “were found to have been a pretense, and today prosecutors know that the respondents had no intention to honor said agreements,” it claims.
Allegations against BT360 first began when the site suddenly shut down on February 12, 2020, locking users out of their funds, reported Israeli fintech publication Calcalist. One customer, first name Paz, told Decrypt that he lost $50,000 of his own money.
Eyal Sadeh, BT360’s owner, told Calcalist that he had fired the company’s CEO, Fischler, for mishandling customer funds. He said the site would go back up after an investigation, but as of today, the site was still shut down. The court ordered a foreclosure on $500,000 of Sadeh’s assets, according to Globes. “The owner is saying that the CEO is responsible and the CEO says that the owner is responsible,” Bejerano told Decrypt. Bejerano’s lawsuit lists both Sadeh and Fischler as defendants.