By Rachel Vick
A Queens Village man was charged with grand larceny for stealing the proceeds of a cryptocurrency sale worth more than $200,000. The arraignment marks the first prosecution for the Cyber Crime Unit of the District Attorney’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau.
Nithushan Sachchithanantham, 28, allegedly was tasked to act as middle man in a sale of 3,000 non-fungible tokens – virtual assets bought and sold online – but instead diverted $233,000 in digital currency to himself.
“Cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain may seem difficult to understand but the alleged wrongdoing in this case is simple: stealing money is a crime,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “The victims wanted to sell their digital artwork as non-fungible tokens with the defendant’s technical help. Instead, this website wiz allegedly helped himself.”
Sachchithanantham organized the digital artwork sale for two of clients after being hired as a software consultant to develop and prepare the sale of Solana Swamp NFTs.
He set up an online wallet and was paid $5,400 in crypto currency, but after the sale, the clients noticed their profits were moved from their wallet to others’ without permission. Sachchithanantham allegedly began ignoring the clients’ attempts at communication.
He is charged with grand larceny in the second degree and unlawful possession of personal identification in the third degree, and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted..