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George Bachiashvili’s lawyer denies $39M Bitcoin misappropriation charges



The legal team representing the billionaire entrepreneur George Bachiashvili has issued a statement denying the criminal charges filed by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, alleging that the businessman misappropriated Bitcoin (BTC) worth $39 million. 

On July 6, the prosecutor’s office charged Bachiashvili with the misappropriation of crypto and money laundering. In 2015, the office said that Bachiashvili engaged in Bitcoin mining with an investor who expected the profit to be divided in proportion to the invested funds.

The government body alleged that Bachiashvili generated a profit of 8,253.13 BTC in 2017, worth around $39 million at the time, and failed to pay the appropriate amount to the investor. With Bitcoin hovering around $30,000, the amount of BTC profit allegedly generated by Bachiashvili is worth almost $250 million at the time of writing.

The office also alleged that Bachiashvili concealed the details of the appropriated crypto, with the intention of transferring the funds to different wallets and using the money for financial operations.

Meanwhile, Robert Amsterdam, the founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, which represents Bachiashvili, issued its statement, noting that the charges are “not rooted in any factual findings or serious investigation” but are rather “politically motivated.”

According to Amsterdam, the charges are a negative signal for the rule of law and investment. The lawyer highlighted their intention to fight the accusations and work to reveal the truth. 

Related: South Korean gov’t ethics panel will address lawmaker’s alleged misconduct on crypto trades: Report

The lawyer also said in the press release that the state apparatus is being “abused as an instrument of theft,” and Bachiashvili is only being targeted because of his political beliefs. “These charges are an embarrassment to the country, and we intend to vindicate our client through all available measures both domestically, with our co-counsel in Georgia, and internationally,” he added.

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