Alex Grebnev, CEO of the Maps.me (MAPs) and Oxygen (OXY) cryptocurrency projects closely linked to Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed FTX empire, is being sued by Gregory Fishman, reportedly an owner of crypto news site CoinTelegraph on allegations of fund misappropriation.
The case, Fishman v. Grebnev, was first filed with the commercial division of London’s High Court back in November of 2022 and last updated on May 22. The case concerns allegations of misappropriated funds and the theft of ideas relating to Grebnev’s unfinished crypto projects, according to a person familiar with the matter. The MAPs and OXY token projects, heavily backed by Alameda Research and Sam Bankman-Fried, have become part of a group known colloquially as “Samcoins.”
“Fishman alleges Grebnev misappropriated funds backing certain crypto projects. In addition, Fishman claims Grebnev entered into a business relationship with him and then terminated it upon Sam Bankman-Fried offering Grebnev funds. Fishman contends that Grebnev stole his ideas,” the person told CoinDesk.
In January 2021, Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research led a $50 million investment into crypto-based Google Maps alternative Maps.me, and a month later it led a $40 million investment round in decentralized finance (DeFi) broker Oxygen with the hope of integrating Oxygen into Maps.me. CMS, Multicoin and Genesis, a subsidiary of CoinDesk parent company Digital Currency Group, also participated in the fund raise.
Fishman and Grebnev did not respond to requests for comment.
Russian-born Grebnev, a Cambridge University educated math whiz, worked at Goldman Sachs before getting involved with crypto start-ups in 2018.
Fishman is reported to have joined investor Gerard Lopez at the helm of London-based crypto investment firm Lydian Group, whose portfolio of companies includes CoinTelegraph, CrossTower and Bequant.