The FBI Investigates Jesse Powell, Founder of Kraken, for Alleged Cyberstalking
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a search at the residence of Jesse Powell, the founder and former CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken. The investigation was initiated following accusations of hacking and cyberstalking activities made against Powell by a nonprofit organization. This incident reflects the FBI’s ongoing focus on individuals involved in the crypto industry, as exemplified by previous cases such as that of Ryan Salame, the former CEO of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary.
No Official Charges Following the FBI Probe
In March of this year, US law enforcement agents, acting upon information provided by Verge Center for the Arts, a prominent arts center, carried out a search at Powell’s Los Angeles home. The arts center alleged that Powell engaged in cyberstalking and blocked access to confidential data for its employees. During the investigation, the FBI seized electronic devices belonging to Powell for further examination.
It is important to note that prosecutors have not leveled any criminal charges against Powell in connection with the raid. Additionally, Powell’s legal team firmly denied any involvement in hacking or cyberstalking activities. Powell’s departure from the arts center’s board of directors, which he had formerly been a part of, was a result of expressing controversial views. He subsequently pursued legal action against the arts center, claiming wrongful dismissal.
According to Powell’s attorney, Brandon Fox, the allegations made by Verge were one-sided and failed to present a complete and accurate representation of the situation. Fox emphasized that his client’s involvement in the case is unrelated to his activities in the cryptocurrency field.
The FBI’s Recent Raid on Ryan Salame
In April, the FBI conducted a search at the residence of Ryan Salame in Potomac, Maryland. Salame is the former CEO of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary. The exact reason behind the raid has not been disclosed, although speculation suggests it may be linked to the significant crash experienced by FTX, the once-prominent cryptocurrency exchange, and Salame’s potential involvement.
Last year, Salame played a crucial role in the investigation against the platform when he notified Bahamian regulators of potential misappropriation of billions of dollars in user funds, allegedly transferred to Alameda Research. Salame has also made substantial political contributions, with over $23 million donated to Republican candidates. In contrast, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried contributed approximately $40 million to Democratic politicians during the 2022 election cycle.