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Real estate exec alleges $1.8M crypto theft

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Real estate developer Titus Williams last month filed a $1.8 million cryptocurrency theft lawsuit.

Williams, president and co-owner of Prosperiti Partners LLC, on March 18 filed suit against Coinbase Global Inc. and an individual identified in the litigation as John Doe, according to court documents on file with the Western District of Missouri. The Springfield News-Leader was first to report on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks damages and equitable relief for the individual's alleged theft of at least 2.9 bitcoin worth $160,000. Williams alleges the full $1.8 million went missing in February after it was emptied by an unknown person or group of individuals, but the lawsuit indicates the rest of the funds have not been tracked down.

Earlier in February, Williams bought roughly 33.7 bitcoin then valued at $1.8 million through a business entity he owns and operates, according to court documents. Williams transferred the bitcoin to a Blockchain.com cryptocurrency wallet on Feb. 25 and found the funds missing the next day, he alleges in the suit.

The lawsuit alleges the 2.9 bitcoin stolen by John Doe are being held at Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform. Williams alleges that while Coinbase put a temporary freeze on the account, the company has not provided assurance that the voluntary action would persist without a court order. Williams is asking the court to require Coinbase to hold the funds in a trust pending the outcome of the court case.

Documents state Coinbase's privacy policy protects the name of the alleged thief unless a court order demands the release of the individual’s identity. Further, Williams alleges other parties may be liable but the plaintiff lacks specifics facts to name them in the lawsuit.

Williams is seeking a jury trial, according to the lawsuit.

At Prosperiti Partners, Williams is known for real estate investments such as the former Missouri Hotel, which is awaiting tax credits for development, according to past reporting.

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