Bitzlato has suspended the withdrawal of Bitcoins (BTC) from the platform indefinitely amid legal problems in France.
On Dec. 27, the crypto exchange platform Bitzlato announced the suspension of special balance withdrawals and technical customer support. The administration called it a “temporary measure” to prepare for upcoming court hearings regarding the seized assets of users in France.
“We are faced with the need to suspend special balance withdrawals and technical support.”
At the same time, users of the web version and the Bitzlato app received access to a partial withdrawal of Bitcoins from Mar. 20. From Sep. 14, the platform increased the funds limit to 60%.
Bitzlato suspended operations on Jan. 18, the day after the arrest of its founder, Anatoly Legkodymov, in Miami. He subsequently pleaded guilty to transferring and laundering criminal funds. In addition, the entrepreneur agreed to close the platform and waive any claims for about $23 million related to the exchanger’s seized assets. Legkodymov filed a petition for release from custody as part of the plea deal.
The French Prosecutor’s Office then initiated an investigation into the company. According to Europol, Bitzlato converted criminal-related assets worth about €1 billion ($1.08 billion). The amount includes $700 million for the darknet marketplace Hydra and $15 million for ransomware operators.
Law enforcement officers also seized the platform’s hot wallet, which contained about 35% of user funds in all cryptocurrencies at the time of the operation.