Esther Freeman – a 70-year-old Israeli resident who turned a $3,000 BTC investment into over $320,000 in 2021 – has terminated the legal battle with Bank Hapoalim. The latter was unwilling to accept her crypto profits, casting doubts on the source of the funds she used to hop on the Bitcoin bandwagon.
Her investment is currently worth approximately $160,000 due to the price decrease of the leading digital asset over the following years.
Dismissal of the Case Less Than Two Years After its Start
The Israeli pensioner made the headlines in November 2021 when her initial $3,240 investment in Bitcoin rose to an astonishing $324,000. She revealed that she entered BTC’s ecosystem in 2013, meaning it took her eight years to see her stash reach that level.
“I listened to my son and nephews, to the young guys, and said that an attempt would be made. Without any knowledge on the subject, in the real innocence of an ordinary citizen,” she explained the reason behind her decision.
And while it sounded like Freeman had won the lottery jackpot, she encountered unexpected issues with Bank Hapoalim, which refused to deposit the profit. The financial institution claimed that her initial investment in Bitcoin was made in cash, which could have originated from illicit procedures.
“The characteristics of virtual (i.e., digital) currencies allow them to be transferred anonymously and unsupervised, often bypassing the need to use the financial factors that apply to the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regime,” the bank added at the time.
Freeman appointed an attorney and filed a lawsuit against the entity, insisting that she had been a loyal client over the years. She also asserted that the money would help one of her children to buy an apartment.
Despite her efforts, though, Freeman seems to have had little success in her legal battle against Bank Hapoalim and recently dismissed the case.
“The lawsuit against the bank has been dismissed. The bank acted from the beginning in accordance with its obligations according to law, including the Anti-Money Laundering Law,” the monetary organization stated.
It also pointed out its policies, according to which it should not be forced to accept funds generated from crypto investments.
Freeman called the bank’s claims “unfounded.” Her lawyer – Shaul Zioni – confirmed the termination of the lawsuit, adding that the Israeli authorities are currently looking to establish a mechanism to regulate such transfer of funds. He did not disclose whether the pensioner was able to deposit the profits at some point.
The Profit is not so Whopping any More
It is interesting to note that the USD representation of Freeman’s Bitcoin investment is now quite different from its peak in November 2021. Calculated by current prices, her stash is approximately worth $160,000, or a 50% decrease.
It is hard to predict whether the investment could rise to such a level again in the future. However, there are many pending developments in the crypto industry that could propel another bull run for the primary digital asset should or when they see the light of day.
The possible approval of a spot BTC ETF in America, a probable adoption coming from a giant corporation (such as Tesla or Apple), or the highly-anticipated Halving in 2024 could be some of the contributing factors.