The Paris prosecutor’s office has requested a five-year prison sentence for Mohamed M., accused of stealing 9.5 million dollars in cryptocurrency from the American financial platform Platypus.
This will include three years of probation coupled with immediate detention for Mohamed M., a 22-year-old from Paris.
He stands accused of four charges, including money laundering and fraud.
The prosecutor has also asked for a six-month suspended sentence and a fine of 20,000 euros for Mohamed M.’s 20-year-old brother, who is also suspected of receiving stolen property.
This case first came to light after the Platypus exploit in February 16th this year that resulted in a loss of around $8.5 million in stablecoin collateral.
ZachXBT reviewed the transaction history of the exploiter across multiple chains – which led him to the exploiter’s Ethereum Name Service (ENS) address retlqw.eth
SEE: Wallet history of the hacker, Credit ZachXBT
ZachXBT was able to find out that hacker linked his OpenSea account to his Twitter, and that the hacker liked a Tweet regarding the Platypus exploit.
ZachXBT sent a DM to the hacker to negotiate the return of their funds, likely seeking an amicable solution.
SEE: DM history with the hacker, Credit ZachXBT
Instead the hacker blocked the crypto sleuth – which led Platypus Finance to report the case directly to the police.
The hacker was arrested soon after.
This case marks a significant milestone as it is the first cryptocurrency hacking trial in France, emphasised Prosecutor Sophie Gschwind.
The Prosecutor said:
“One common misconception is that virtual money lessens the severity of the crime, but your decision will set a legal precedent.”
The prosecution alleges that Mohamed M was able to drain Platypus through a system of flash loans, exploiting their “emergency withdrawal” function for funds.
In his defence, Mohamed M. stated:
“I never breached Platypus’s computers or tampered with their code, but I used public functions provided by Platypus.”
He likened it to pressing a button on a coffee vending machine to get a cappuccino.
The defendant, who skipped his baccalaureate exam, explained that he had been self-taught in computer science since the age of seven, often relying on “YouTube videos.”
In a composed tone before the court, he described his actions on Platypus as his first as an “ethical hacker,” aiming to “alert” the platform to a system vulnerability.
Of the 9.5 million dollars stolen, Mohamed M. claims he was able to retrieve only 270,000 euros due to a “coding error” indicating the destination of the funds
His younger brother received 13,000 euros from this sum and made various purchases, including a “luxury car.”
The verdict will be announced on December 1st.
Platypus Finance is an DeFi Automated Market Maker (AMM) protocol operating on the Avalanche blockchain.
Coinlive previously reported on how the protocol has suffered three hacks in 2023 alone.
For this particular exploit, Platypus Finance was able to recover 2.4 million USDC.