Jesse Powell, the cofounder of crypto exchange Kraken, had his residence searched by federal agents earlier this year.
According to a report from The New York Times, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized electronic devices from Powell’s Los Angeles home in connection with his alleged involvement in cyber stalking the non-profit Verge Center for the Arts.
The group alleged that Powell had interfered with computer accounts and blocked access to emails and other messages. Although Powell has not been accused of any crimes, the FBI agents have reportedly been looking into him since last fall.
Powell’s attorney Brandon Fox confirmed the investigation, commenting that it was “in no way related to Mr. Powell’s employment or his conduct in the cryptocurrency arena.” A spokesperson for Kraken also stated that the investigation had nothing to do with the company.
Fox elaborated on the details of the Verge case to CoinDesk, and claimed that the non-profit had provided the government with a “one-sided account” of the matter. Fox disclosed that Powell sued Verge in California Superior Court last month and claimed that he remains a board member and “owns and has rightful access” to the email accounts of the Sacramento-based organization he founded in 2007.
Powell founded Kraken in 2011 and stepped down as CEO in September, saying the company was in a strong position and it was a good time to make a change.
“The company has gotten to a size where there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t enjoy doing as CEO of a 3,000-plus-person company. What I really enjoy is the product,” he said in an interview with Protocol at the time.