CAMP BAKER, Ark.
(AP) A trading platform that allows customers to trade cryptocurrencies on the Internet, including bitcoin and other virtual currencies, is in jeopardy after federal prosecutors said they would seek to seize it, according to court documents filed Thursday.
The U.K.-based company, Kraken, which specializes in cryptocurrency trading, said in a statement that it “wants to continue to operate as normal as possible” following the indictment of the company’s founder and co-founder, Andrew Rossum.
The Justice Department announced in October that Rossum and another co-defendant, a man named Joseph Menn, would face charges in the case, which involves a massive theft of funds from an online casino, the first criminal fraud prosecution brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Rossum and Menn were arrested at the airport in Dubai, where they were trying to leave the United States.
The pair had been on the run since May.
Rossums attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Ross, who is serving time at the Justice Department’s criminal division, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Kraken said it will “continue to operate normally” in the U.M.S., and would cooperate with federal authorities, according, the company statement.
Ross is scheduled to appear in federal court on Sept. 22, the same day the government is expected to formally charge Menn.
Ross’s lawyer, Stephen C. Ritchie, did not respond to a message seeking comment on Thursday.
In an interview with CNNMoney last month, Ross said he was a “fanboy” of bitcoin, but that it is not “perfect” or “the gold standard.”
“It’s just the most recent coin, but we’re still in the early stages of bitcoin,” Ross said.
“There are a lot of people out there who are buying it, selling it, but they’re not actually investing it in any way.
They’re buying and selling on a platform where they don’t actually have a custodian.”
Ross said the currency is “very stable” and there are “people who are selling coins for profit” but said, “It’s a different world out there.”
Ross’s arrest and his extradition to the U., however, have caused a huge ripple through the cryptocurrency world.
In October, Bitcoin.com reported that Ross had been in talks with a private blockchain startup in Singapore.
The company, called EtherDelta, is based in Singapore, but was formed in the United Kingdom, and is seeking to become a U.N. agency, Reuters reported.
It was not immediately clear whether Ross would face extradition to other countries, such as the U .
S. and Japan.
Ross has been living under the assumed name Andrew Ross and has maintained a Twitter account.
Ross and Menna are accused of using an undercover FBI agent to hack into a bitcoin trading account in 2016 and steal over $5 million in bitcoin.
The scheme was described in court documents as a “highly sophisticated and sophisticated scheme,” and prosecutors said the pair used sophisticated “spoofing technology” to disguise their identities, including a fake email address that looked like a legitimate email address.