Vanished Cryptsy CEO 'Big Vern' Ordered to Pay $8M in Class Action Lawsuit

This week Judge Kenneth Marra came to a conclusion in the District of Florida class action lawsuit against Paul Vernon and his company Project Investors (Cryptsy). According to the final default judgment, Vernon is liable for the “principal sum of $8.2 million.”

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Paul Vernon Liable for $8.2M in Class Action Lawsuit

The curious case of the now defunct Cryptsy exchange has been a drawn out mystery for a very long time and is still not over. Back in January of 2016 the cryptocurrency trading platform Cryptsy said it was hacked for 13,000 BTC, and 300,000 LTC. Since then the founder of the exchange Paul Vernon, otherwise known as ‘Big Vern’, left his residency in Florida and allegedly is hiding out somewhere around Liaoning, China.

Vanished Cryptsy CEO 'Big Vern' Ordered to Pay $8M in Class Action Lawsuit
Paul Vernon aka ‘Big Vern’ owner of the now defunct Cryptsy exchange.

The Cryptsy operator has also managed to do some interviews with Florida’s regional publication the Miami New Times. Vernon has denied any wrong doings and told the reporter he just regretted not being able to handle the hack the right way. Customers were not notified about the loss that happened in 2014 until the exchange was under water in 2016. Vernon and company operated the trading platform like a fractional reserve and hoped to pay the funds back but said bitcoin’s low price deterred that outcome. Since then Silver Law Group, Wites & Kapetan Law, two plaintiffs, and all others similarly situated started a class action lawsuit, No. 9:16-cv-80060, against Vernon and his exchange. There was also some involvement with the San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase.

Cryptsy's 'Big Vern' Ordered to Pay $8M in Class Action Lawsuit
When visiting the old Cryptsy domain the page redirects to

Now U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra has cast judgment down upon Vernon by favoring the plaintiff’s side. If Vernon is found and detained he will be liable for $8.2 million.

“Plaintiffs’ motion for entry of final default judgment is granted,” explains the court order.

Defendant Vernon is liable to the Plaintiff Class in the principal sum of $8,200,000.00, for which let execution issue forthwith.

Judge Kenneth Marra adds, “prejudgment interest in the amount of $688,788.76 shall be awarded as interest on that principal sum from November 1, 2015, to the date of entry of this final judgment at the rate fixed by the Florida Department of Financial Services, as set forth by §55.03, Florida statutes.”

Cryptsy's 'Big Vern' Ordered to Pay $8M in Class Action Lawsuit
Judge Kenneth Marra’s final default judgment.

The Mysterious Paul Vernon is Still Hiding Out

Further, the order also details that 11,325 BTC that were stolen from the trading platform and their tethered wallets, are the property of the plaintiffs.

As of the date of this final judgment, and stored in the following cryptocurrency wallets, are property of the plaintiff class and subject to and encompassed  within this final judgment

Vernon’s exact whereabouts are unknown, and if he is in China as is rumored, an extradition treaty will be difficult. Copies of the court order were sent to Vernon’s PO box in Delray Beach and his publicly known email.

Images via, District of Florida Case 9:16-cv-80060-KAM Document 123, Pixabay, and the Crypsty archives.  

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