Less than 48 hours after a raid on cryptocurrency lender Nexo’s offices in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, prosecutors have reportedly charged four people.
According to a Jan. 13 report by Bloomberg, authorities charged four Bulgarian nationals with forming an organized crime group, which may have included activities related to money laundering and unlicensed banking. The country’s National Police Service reportedly seized a number of assets as part of the investigation, including cryptocurrency, cash and computers.
Following the Jan. 12 raid, Nexo described prosecutors’ actions as a “kick first, ask questions later” approach. The company reportedly planned to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages caused by police actions, alleging authorities did not show a search warrant or identify themselves to Nexo employees.
“We are always cooperating with the relevant authorities and regulators,” said the lending firm.
George Naydenov, a frontend developer at Nexo’s Sofia office, said on LinkedIn:
“I thank the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office for trying, of course, in the most incompetent and pathetic way to take away the work of over 600 people in Nexo including me.”
It’s unclear which individuals and what role they may have held at Nexo were involved in the arrests. The lending firm has roughly 600 employees in Sofia.
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Founded in 2018, Nexo operates an investment platform allowing users to stake and borrow against crypto. The company has offices in the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Switzerland, but reportedly does not offer its services to Bulgarian residents due to potential issues with the local government. In December, Nexo announced that it planned to phase out its services in the United States, citing the lack of a clear regulatory-compliant path forward.