FBI Raided Kraken Co-Founder’s Home for Alleged Hacking of a Non-Profit

FBI Raided Kraken Co-Founder’s Home for Alleged Hacking of a Non-Profit

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided Kraken co-founder’s home back in March for the alleged hacking of Verge Center of the Arts, a non-profit arts group he founded.

According to The New York Times report on Thursday, July 6, crypto exchange Kraken’s co-founder and former CEO, Jesse Powell, is being investigated by Federal law enforcement over allegations that he hacked and cyberstalked Verge Center for the Arts after he was removed from the group’s board of directors last year.

The Case has No Relation to Kraken

According to the letter seen by the New York Times that was sent to Kraken by Verge’s lawyer last year, Verge Center for the Arts claimed that Jesse Powell hindered its computer accounts, blocked access to email services and the website, and cyberstalked Center’s systems to access confidential information.

Jesse Powell co-founded the Sacramento-based Verge Center of the Arts in 2007. However, he was removed from the organization’s board of directors in 2022 for failing to attend meetings and breaching the organization’s principles.

Per the report, Powel has been under investigation by the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California since last September. The FBI raided his home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, in March 2023 as part of these investigations and seized electronic devices, Times wrote, citing multiple anonymous sources.

The Case has No Relation with his Crypto Venture, says the DOJ

Powell’s lawyer Bradon Fox confirmed the raid after the story came out. The lawyer said that although his client had been under investigation, he had not been charged with any crime. Fox added that the investigation was unrelated to his cryptocurrency business and didn’t concern the Kraken crypto exchange.

According to the report, Powell sued Verge in California Superior Court last month, claiming he had done nothing wrong as he owns and has rightful access to the email accounts as a board member. However, the non-profit group was quick to dismiss Powel’s claims.

On the other hand, the second-largest crypto exchange in the US that he co-founded is also not without problems. As Crypto Economy reported, Kraken was hit with enforcement action in February by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that focused on US securities laws violations by the exchange’s “crypto-as-a-staking” program.

Kraken then settled with the SEC forcing the company to shut down its staking program and pay a hefty fine of $30 million in restitution, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.