Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009, cryptocurrency and financial technology (fintech) have revolutionized the financial landscape worldwide. While the decentralized nature of crypto offers many benefits to consumers and businesses alike, it can also leave users vulnerable to fraud. Furthermore, the inconsistent regulation of fintech in Canada and internationally can make it challenging to track and recover stolen assets.
Milosevic & Associates are uniquely placed to help clients defrauded through cryptocurrency scams in Ontario and across Canada. Our firm’s extensive experience with asset recovery, investment loss, civil fraud, and injunctive relief enables us to develop creative, effective strategies for tracking stolen money and assets.
The most important question for those who have suffered a loss through a crypto fraud is: can I get my money back?
Unfortunately, we cannot help in many cases, particularly those where funds have been routed by the fraudster through a foreign jurisdiction. Common countries used to funnel money stolen through crypto scams include China and Malaysia.
However, if in the course of the scam you sent funds to a Canadian or U.S. bank account and/or you know the identity of the fraudster, please contact us as soon as possible. In these cases, there is a greater likelihood of successfully tracing and recovering some of the stolen funds through swift legal action, but early intervention is critical.
As with most types of fraud, cryptocurrency scams are constantly evolving. However, many schemes fall within consistent patterns and use similar tactics to trick investors.
Some examples of crypto scams commonly seen in Ontario and across Canada include (but are not limited to) the following situations:
Although crypto fraud is complex and highly case-specific, certain legal remedies have become vital to recovering stolen assets. These include tracing stolen funds or property and obtaining various injunctive orders through the courts.
Tracing orders offer a way for a victim of fraud to “follow the money” through a fraudster’s accounts and investments to identify which assets are recoverable (i.e. should be returned to the defrauded person). Tracing can be highly complex as the stolen funds become intermingled with other property or assets, particularly as money and cryptocurrency can be easily moved all over the globe.
One way to reduce the damage caused by a crypto scam and recover as much money as possible is to obtain a Mareva injunction. Also called “freezing orders”, these injunctions freeze the defendant’s assets and may require them to disclose where various assets are located. Mareva injunctions are most effective in situations where the person committing the fraud has moved money through traceable bank accounts.
Given the risk of losing access to the assets if action is not taken quickly, hearings for freezing orders are often granted on an emergency basis and without notice to the other party.
Like Mareva injunctions, Anton Piller orders are an effective way of preserving evidence in cases where it is at risk of being concealed or destroyed by the fraudster. When granted, an Anton Piller order empowers the fraud victim to seize relevant evidence, including equipment containing that evidence, such as computers, network servers, and records.
Norwich orders can be invaluable in cases where the defrauded individual can only obtain critical information to support their case from a third party. For example, in cases involving cryptocurrency fraud, a bank or other financial institution may hold the records needed to show the extent of the fraud and the entities involved. In other cases, a Norwich order may be required to find the identity of a person who used an internet-based email/messaging service or web domain account to set up a fake website.
A Norwich order allows the plaintiff to obtain this otherwise confidential information from an innocent third party (such as the email provider or bank), even before a lawsuit has been filed. As Norwich orders are a severe remedy and involve privacy considerations, they require a lawyer who is experienced in obtaining such remedies through the courts.
After a person has lost money through crypto fraud, there is a limited time window for recovering the stolen assets. The aspects of cryptocurrency that make it so appealing to investors – its virtual nature, limited regulation, and decentralization – make it very difficult to trace. Any chances of recovery require fast, decisive action by a professional with knowledge of the legal tools available to stop further loss and track the stolen funds.
As lawyers with comprehensive knowledge of the remedies available for civil fraud (including investment scams), the team at Milosevic & Associates has built a reputation for developing inventive and aggressive legal solutions for clients who have suffered crypto fraud. We have extensive experience with cross-border money tracing, Mareva injunctions, and Anton Piller orders. Our fraud lawyers work closely with clients to create tailored, innovative strategies for preventing further loss, identifying perpetrators, and recovering as much money as possible.
The highly skilled fraud lawyers at Milosevic & Associates understand the critical role that knowledge plays in representing clients affected by cryptocurrency scams. Our team keeps current on all fintech developments, including fraudulent investment schemes and the ever-changing regulatory landscape pertaining to virtual assets and cryptocurrency. We remain dedicated to providing responsive, accessible services to clients who have fallen victim to unscrupulous players in this dynamic and volatile financial sphere.
Milosevic & Associates is a leading litigation law firm based in Toronto. We provide comprehensive representation in a variety of areas, including complex corporate commercial disputes, investment loss, professional liability, and civil fraud. To schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled lawyer today, please contact us online or by phone at 416-916-1387.
Phone: (416) 916-1387