Cipher Blade, a Pennsylvania-based blockchain forensics company, is currently embroiled in a legal dispute.
Moreover, this situation has arisen because the company’s founder, Richard Sanders, alleges that a faction of employees forcefully took control during his absence in war-torn Ukraine. Sanders had been in Ukraine, assisting local law enforcement with cryptocurrency inquiries.
In the legal complaint filed in Alaska, Cipher Blade, a company specializing in blockchain intelligence, asserts that its internal operations have been compromised. The complaint suggests that individuals facing litigation capitalized on Sanders’ absence to gain control of the company’s assets and data.
Notably, Sanders, in a LinkedIn statement, accused company trustees of engaging in unlawful activities. These activities include purloining the CipherBlade domain, social media accounts, and other corporate assets.
During Sanders’ absence, the company’s clients and some staff members were transferred to new CipherBlade entities in Alaska and Singapore, essentially rendering the business devoid of his presence, as detailed in the lawsuit.
Legal Battle Unfolds as CipherBlade Founder Alleges Misconduct and Hostile Takeover
Established by Sanders in 2019, CipherBlade’s primary objective is to assist federal agencies, private enterprises, and individuals in investigations related to financial crimes, with a particular focus on cybercrime.
The founder contends that these defendants strategically planned their actions during his Ukrainian mission. They were aware that this period would be extremely busy for him, leaving him with the choice between saving lives or preventing further theft.
Now, with Sanders having distanced himself from CipherBlade, the company is making a second attempt to legally contest the new management of cipherblade.com.
This has led to a recent civil complaint. The complaint was lodged with the U.S. District Court of Alaska, and it seeks reparation for various transgressions. These transgressions include the unlawful appropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and involvement in racketeering.
Sanders Alleges Intrigue, Theft, and Misuse of Reputation in Lawsuit Against CipherBlade
In the lawsuit, Sanders states that his residence was subjected to a break-in, resulting in the theft of essential documents. While he was in Ukraine, his home security system alerted him to the offline status of his security cameras. Upon his return, he discovered the absence of crucial business-related documents, including LLCs and business filings.
Furthermore, he uncovered evidence of a fraudulent U.S. Postal Service receipt linked to a package sent from his residence, utilizing his name and credit card information without his authorization. This package was dispatched to an address in Cyprus, as elaborated in the complaint.
Additionally, Sanders highlights that his prior collaboration and leadership enhanced the firm’s credibility and attracted clients. Despite his ongoing efforts to have them removed, references to him, his work, and his credentials continue to appear on cipherblade.com’s website.
However, he has leveled charges against the defendants for orchestrating a scheme to abscond with the assets of his company.
This scheme involved various illicit activities, including forgery, mail fraud, impersonation, multiple instances of digital theft (utilized for transferring company property), physical theft, and the distribution of questionable “bonuses” that served the interests of those involved.
Dispute Escalates as CipherBlade Founder Severs Ties and Alleges Misconduct, While the Company Counters Claims
Sanders has severed his connections with CipherBlade and used LinkedIn to inform the public of his complete disassociation from the firm. He has shared the lawsuit’s allegations, outlining acts of misconduct, theft, and fraud perpetrated by those who now control CipherBlade.
“I have no connection with the entities that control and operate the cipherblade domain, namely CipherBlade LLC (AK), CipherBlade APAC Pte Ltd (Singapore), and Omega3Zone Global Ltd, nor any of the other entities utilized for the purpose of theft and misconduct as set forth in the lawsuit’s allegations.”
Meanwhile, Cipher Blade rebuts Sanders’ claims in a LinkedIn post issued on Monday afternoon. The blockchain intelligence firm claims Sanders was never an owner and highlights his reduced involvement in CipherBlade during 2022.
His participation effectively ceased in early 2023 when he relocated to Ukraine to pursue his personal pro-bono mission. CipherBlade’s current management vehemently contests these allegations.
They characterize Sanders’ claims as “groundless, malicious, and driven by personal animosity.” In response, they have pledged to address these claims through legal channels. They emphasize their commitment to providing top-tier service to their clients.