When a person/organisation realises they are the victim of fraud, the first task is to identify the culprit and prevent them from dealing with their assets so as to avoid a future court judgment against them. With the rise of cryptocurrency over recent years, it is now more likely that stolen funds could be invested in digital assets such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
Initially fraud investigators were worried misappropriated assets could not be traced into cryptocurrency because of its perceived anonymous nature. Whilst this fear is not without merit, it is now clear that an effective investigation and litigation plan can secure this new form of asset.
In February 2019, Andrew Tragardh was engaged by a victim of a multi-million dollar fraud. Rather than refer the matter to police, Andrew advised that civil proceedings be immediately commenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria, and urgent injunctions be obtained without notice to the defendant.
Andrew then successfully obtained Freezing and Search orders whereby the defendant fraudster was compelled (by threat of imprisonment and other penalties) to identify and give up control of any of his cryptocurrency assets. It is believed this is the first time a Court in Australia has made such orders over such digital assets.
Andrew Tragardh is a recognised expert in assisting victims of fraud to recover their losses and regularly attends court to secure Freezing Orders and Search Orders on their behalf. These draconian orders are not granted lightly – Court’s do not grant such orders unless strict preconditions are met and are only granted upon satisfactory evidence being presented to the Court and when it is just and convenient to do so.
Aside from being a lawyer with 25 years experience, Andrew is a qualified fraud investigator and a former policeman. He therefore understand all the available and most effective means to secure maximum recovery of losses. This recent breakthrough case regarding cryptocurrency once again reflects Andrew’s leading status in this complex and fast changing area of law.