Lithuanian Man Sues Anonymous Hackers to Recover $433K in Stolen Cryptocurrency

News | June 17, 2024 By:

On Thursday, June 6, 2024, Romas Žiūkas, a citizen of Lithuania, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts seeking the recovery of approximately $433,000 worth of digital currency tokens that were allegedly stolen from his online wallet in April 2024.

According to the complaint, Žiūkas held various cryptocurrency assets on the Avalanche C-Chain blockchain protocol, including a wallet containing 433,437 U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) tokens. USDC is a type of cryptocurrency that is pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar and backed by reserves held by the company Circle.

The complaint alleges that on April 24, 2024, Žiūkas noticed the USDC tokens had been drained from his wallet without his authorization.

Through investigation of the blockchain transaction records, experts were reportedly able to trace the stolen tokens to another wallet address, referred to as the “theft wallet” in the complaint. The theft wallet and Žiūkas’ original wallet are said to have had an association with a “smart contract” – a piece of executable code deployed on the blockchain that automatically carries out certain functions. According to the filing, the smart contract was used to divert the USDC tokens from Žiūkas’ wallet to the possession and control of unknown hacker defendants.

The lawsuit names John Doe Nos. 1-25 as defendants, as well as the USDC tokens currently located in the theft wallet as an in rem defendant. Žiūkas is seeking to establish ownership over the stolen USDC, claiming a right to enforce the terms of the USDC system, which promises token holders the ability to redeem their funds from Circle at a 1:1 rate for U.S. dollars.

Given that Circle operates the USDC system and holds dollar reserves backing the tokens, the complaint asserts jurisdiction is proper in Massachusetts, where Circle is headquartered. It brings causes of action for declaratory judgment, conversion, money had and received, and imposition of a constructive trust over the disputed USDC tokens.

Žiūkas is seeking the return of the stolen funds, as well as legal fees and other damages from the responsible parties.

Please contact BlockTribune for access to a copy of this filing.