An infamous South African Bitcoin entrepreneur has been declared bankrupt, leaving investors facing total losses of over $13m, according to local reports.
Willie Breedt was the founder and CEO of VaultAge Solutions, a cryptocurrency trading platform that was launched in 2018.
Back in May, investors in the platform started to complain of fraud and investigators from the country’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) were sent in to find out what had happened.
Now it has emerged that Breedt, who is currently thought to be in hiding, is bankrupt, with around 2000 investors owed around R227m ($13.2m).
One of the largest investors in the scheme, Simon Dix of Hilton, who was owed R7.5m, successfully applied for a court order to seize Breedt’s assets. According to News24, police and investigators tracked Breedt down to a guest house at the Silver Lakes Estate in Pretoria.
During the raid they are said to have seized multiple electronic devices including a laptop and a nano stick.
Breedt’s South African bank accounts have also been frozen and PricewaterhouseCoopers has reportedly been hired to launch an investigation into VaultAge and the agents selling cryptocurrency on its behalf.
It remains unclear whether investors in the company’s schemes will get the money they are owed.
The case comes just days after a UK court wound up GPay Limited, a scam cryptocurrency trading company which defrauded novice investors.
The company, which traded under the names Cryptopoint and XtraderFX, is said to have made off with £1.5m. It used false advertising claiming affiliation with Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, and entrepreneurs from the hit TV show Dragons’ Den to persuade victims to part with their funds.