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Israeli Brothers Arrested for Phishing Scams & Bitfinex Hack

Will Bitfinex's Funds be Returned?

2019-06-24 08:47:12 | Jonathan Ganor

As reported by Israeli legal website Posta, two Israeli brothers, Asaf & Eli Gigi were arrested yesterday by the Jerusalem Police Department. The official charges are stealing millions through various cryptocurrency phishing schemes and suspicion that they are related to the 2016 Bitfinex hack. The 2016 Bitfinex hack resulted in roughly $73 M stolen from customers.

One of the brothers, Eli Gigi, was previously a former computer science expert in the IDF and was part of a gifted students program in computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The brothers have allegedly set up several websites that mimicked popular exchanges and wallets and spammed them on online forums and message groups. Once an unlucky visitor entered in his password and private keys in the phony website, the brothers would proceed to steal all of their funds.

Israeli authorities also suspect that both brothers were involved in the 2016 Bitfinex hack. The police have seized multiple luxury vehicles belonging to the brothers as well as other assets and crypto-wallets. The wallets have been reported to contain much smaller amounts of cryptocurrency than the amount stolen.


Will Bitfinex's Funds be Returned?

Currently it is unknown if the remaining funds will be returned to Bitfinex. It is doubtful that the Jerusalem Police Department even have the capability to crack the crypto-wallets and retrieve the funds. Moreover, it is unclear which funds were stolen via phishing and which were stolen from Bitfinex's clients.

The most likely outcome is that the police will auction off the wallets their American counterparts did with funds seized from the Silk Road.