Platypus Finance Hackers Cleared of Charges in $8.5M Crypto Hack Criminal Charges: Le Monde

A French court cleared two brothers of criminal charges stemming from February’s $8.5 million Platypus Finance hack.
Platypus Finance Hackers Cleared of Charges in $8.5M Crypto Hack Criminal Charges Le Monde

Le Monde reports that a French court has found two brothers not guilty of any crimes in connection with the $8.5 million Platypus Finance protocol hack that occurred in February of last year.

Only one week after the attack on the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform powered by Avalanche, Mohammed M., 22, and his brother Benamar were taken into custody.

Mohammed was charged with multiple offenses related to the hack by the prosecution, who requested a five-year prison term. But after Mohammed said he broke into Platypus as a “ethical hacker” with the intention of returning the money later in exchange for a 10% reward, the court cleared the brothers. According to the judges, gaining access to a smart contract that is open to the public does not qualify as unauthorized system access.

Mohammed mistakenly locked up the majority of the funds, even though he was able to take control of them through Platypus’ emergency withdrawal feature. In the end, just about $270,000 was taken back. Platypus used its own counter-hack to retrieve an additional $2.4 million.

Mohammed employed an authorized smart contract function, hence the court determined that he did not commit fraud. Once fraud was ruled out, the charges pertaining to money laundering and stolen items also fell apart. The justices described the decision as “not a carte blanche,” though, and cautioned the brothers that Platypus may still file a civil lawsuit against them.

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