Daily fraud update: 29th May

Chris Lee

Hello and welcome to your daily foreign exchange and cryptocurrency fraud news update.

Fears that accused South African fraudster is now on the run.

There are fears that a man from South Africa who stands accused of carrying out a large-scale crypto fraud has gone on the run, a news outlet in the country is reporting.

Press in the country reported in recent weeks that there was an allegation against Willie Breedt, who is the chief executive officer of a firm called VaultAge Solutions (VS).

Evidence from a government department in the country, however, suggested that he might have gone on the run.

His exact whereabouts are presently unknown, with some speculating that he may be in residence at a high-end home on the Marina Martinique Estate.

However, according to the Department of Home Affairs in the country, there is evidence to suggest that he has fled the nation altogether.

It has now been revealed that he crossed the border between South Africa and Mozambique in mid-December.

It is unclear whether or not he has since returned.

One press outlet in South Africa suggested that a technical problem in the country’s border systems might be failing to record accurate information about his whereabouts.

December is a significant period in the case as it is the last time that some of the alleged victims claimed to have received any communication from Breedt.

At that time, Breedt appeared to reassure investors that he would pay them back the amounts they had invested.

However, they have since not heard anything from him.

Breedt, whose firm operated in the bitcoin space, stands accused of conning traders out of a figure in the millions of South African rand.

VS has been confirmed as unregistered with the relevant authorities in the country.

The Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) does not have it on record.

However, it has been operating in South Africa for a while, and is believed to have had over 2,000 investors on its books.

One investor, Lettie Engelbrecht, told reporters in the country that she received some payments for a while but then nothing more came through.

“We are pensioners and invested R200 000. From December until April, we received payments on the growth of our investment. Since then, we never got any money,” she said.

The case is being investigated by a branch of law enforcement in the country known as ‘the Hawks’.

However, the Hawks did not appear to give much away, stating only that its investigation was continuing – and that it cannot reveal any more information about its probe into Breedt.

Colonel Katlego Mogale said that his branch was still investigating the case and “cannot reveal any information at this stage”.

In a statement provided by Breedt to a news website, he appeared to claim that all invested capital would be sent back to traders by the end of this week.

“The commitment is to have all the initial capital paid back by 31 May,” he said.

 


Chris Lee

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