FBI raided Kraken co-founder's residence in March: Report
July 7, 2023 7:49 AM
Electronic devices were taken from the Los Angeles residence of former Kraken CEO Jesse Powell in conjunction with a non-crypto-related probe into alleged hacking and internet stalking.
The FBI reportedly raided Kraken co-founder Jesse Powell's house in March as part of an investigation into allegations that he hacked and cyberstalked a nonprofit arts organization.
According to a July 6 report→ from The New York Times citing three people with knowledge of the subject, Powell allegedly interfered with computer accounts by limiting access to emails and other messages from donors of Verge Center for the Arts – the non-profit Powell created.
Powell has been under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California since "at least" September, the three sources told The New York Times.
As part of the search, electronic equipment were allegedly taken from Powell's residence in Brentwood, Los Angeles. However, it is believed that prosecutors have not charged Powell with any offenses.
Brandon Fox, Powell's lawyer, stated that the inquiry was primarily focused on claims made by Verge Center for the Arts, the organization Powell created, and had nothing to do with Powell's engagement in the "cryptocurrency arena." A Kraken spokeswoman apparently confirmed this as well.
Powell, according to Fox, "did nothing wrong."
An inside look at Powell's arts center, Verge Center for the Arts. Source: Verge Center for the Arts
Powell allegedly created the Sacramento-based arts organization in 2007. However, according to his LinkedIn→, he has been the founder and board member since April 2010.
According to CoinMarketCap→, Kraken is the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, trailing only Coinbase.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission issued an enforcement action against Kraken in February for failing to register the offer and sale of its staking service program.
The company reached an agreement with the securities regulator and agreed to pay a hefty $30 million fine.