ATLANTA — It was the first cryptocurrency exchange in the country. Now customers say when the Atlanta-based company suddenly shut down, it kept their money and their Bitcoin.
That was more than 4 years ago but some customers still do not have their Bitcoin back.
A federal jury in Atlanta ruled in favor of one of those customers in April in one of the first lawsuits of its kind in the country.
The physical address for CampBX was just a P.O. Box in a Roswell UPS store. But its business was online.
For years, more than 70,000 customers traded bitcoin on the Atlanta-based platform.
“In this case, the exchange worked fine for a number of years,” attorney John Richard told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray.
That was until 2017, when many customers found they could not access their accounts.
In 2018, the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance sent CampBX a cease-and-desist order for engaging in money transactions without a license.
When CampBX did cease operation, customers flooded internet forums saying the exchange would not return their money or bitcoin from their accounts.
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“I went to log into the website, couldn’t do transactions and it was like, ‘Oh crap,” Jay Daniel said.
Daniel is a Nashville-based IT security consultant and part-time trader who said CampBX would not return more than $250,000 worth of his money and bitcoin.
“They completely kept our property, would not respond to reasonable inquires and literally we had to file the first bitcoin case in federal court to get our money back,” Daniel said.
A federal jury ruled in Daniels’ favor in the COVID—19-delayed federal case in late April. But Richard said many others still don’t have their property.
“There are still people waiting. We’ve reached out to a number of customers and a number of customers of CampBX exchange reached out to us who still don’t have their bitcoin back,” Richard said.
The Georgia man behind CampBX, Keyur Mithwala, said most of the property has been returned to customers.
He emailed Channel 2 Action News, saying:
“CampBX has successfully returned Bitcoins and USD balances in full to an overwhelming majority (over 99%) of our customers. As of today, we have approximately 190 remaining customers whom we are working to KYC-AML verify and close out over the next three months.”
But Richard counters there is no evidence to back up that claim. He’s now representing more customers looking for their Bitcoin.
“For the bitcoin itself, I’m only aware of one other CampBX customer who has received their bitcoin. CampBX claims it returned it. We’ve seen no proof of that,” Richard said.
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