Liquidators Fight to Recover $21 Million in Crypto from Melbourne Firm’s ‘Stolen Laptop’

By José Oramas December 07, 2021 In Australia, Crime, Crypto News

Melbourne-based multinational bitcoin mining firm Blockchain Global Limited collapsed in October, owing more than A$20 million to investors. Now those investors are seeking millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin in a stolen laptop. 

Blockchain Global operated a crypto trading firm, ACX, which was drawn into a legal battle facing at least 94 investors after it stopped working in February 2020. A Victoria Supreme Court judge granted the firm’s administrators more time to recover the millions lost due to the complexity of recovering lost crypto.

Investors were complaining about being unable to access their funds at first. Withdrawals were suddenly blocked and customer support stopped providing any assistance.

Andrew Yeo, from accounting and advisory firm Pitcher Partners, said Blockchain Global’s assets included millions in bitcoin and ethereum. But contacting Blockchain Global’s directors – Allan Guo and Sam Lee – proved problematic as they reside overseas. Lee was not responsive when contacted via email or Chinese messaging service WeChat, the court was told.


Yeo said Guo had confirmed he could access the funds, but that the credentials he needed to access it were on a stolen laptop.

Investors Fighting to Recover More Than $21 Million

Investors are now fighting to recover more than A$21 million sitting on the missing laptop. This has raised concerns among investors, who now suspect fraud on the part of the former directors.

One investor, Bruno Fabre, told The Sunday Age newspaper that he had no concerns or issues with Blockchain Global and ACX until withdrawals were suddenly blocked.

I had no suspicion that it was a scam or anything like that. I was buying and selling, everything was functioning the way I thought it should function. It’s become obvious since then that there’s been some sort of wrongdoing.

Bruno Fabre, investor

Some investors claim that Blockchain and ACX owe them hundreds of thousands of dollars. When the case was taken to legal action, the Supreme Court granted a freezing order over an additional 117 BTC -roughly A$9 million.

This case is similar to the A$100 million class action lawsuit against the issuers of Qoin, a token promoted by the Queensland-based backers of 30-year old trading exchange Bartercard.

Misleading statements and failing to comply with consumer guarantees are not unusual in shady Australian-based crypto projects. A month ago, Crypto News Australia reported the shutdown of unlicensed Gold Coast financial services business A One Multi for suspected unlawful activity.


José Oramas

José Oramas

José is a journalist and translator with a keen interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

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