Daily fraud update: 8th May

Chris Lee
Price graph on screen with broken bitcoins surrounding it

South African police investigate crypto CEO

Police in South Africa are probing the case of a man who heads up a cryptocurrency company after claims he allegedly created payment proof documents which were in fact false.

Law enforcement is investigating Willie Breedt, who heads up a firm called VaultAge Solutions.

VaultAge Solutions, which was founded in 2018, manages crypto trades for investors.

But now there are allegations that Breedt has defrauded some of his investors by sending false proof of payment.

It is understood that one investor from the Limpopo area claims that he received a document outlining that a six figure sum of South African rand had been paid to him.

But upon checking his account, the figure paid was much lower.

Another investor quoted in the press said that he had “pleaded” with the firm’s owner to let him access his cash – and allegedly later received a document claiming that some cash had been sent.

However, the cash allegedly never actually appeared.

“In January, I pleaded with Breedt to refund my money,” the investor was quoted as having said.

“I eventually received a personal notice from Breedt to check my account as the R181 000 was paid over. I still haven’t received anything,” he continued.

In his defence, Breedt was quoted as attributing the problems to technology.

He claimed that “a technical issue that we are currently still experiencing” had been occurring for months.

Craig Wright hit by new claims

Bitcoin on a rope above fire with bitcoin falling down

A man whose claims to be the founder of Bitcoin have been widely discredited in now facing a new set of allegations.

Craig Wright has long since claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous founder of the cryptocurrency.

However, his claims have been discredited by many in the industry.

And now Wright is having to contend with accusations that he may have committed plagiarism when he wrote his doctoral thesis.

The claims were put to the institution in question, the Charles Sturt University, via Twitter.

In reply, the university refused to comment in detail – but it confirm that it was looking into the accusations.

“Hi everyone. We are aware of the allegations and are investigating them,” it said.

“We won’t be commenting further publicly. We respect every student’s right to privacy,” it added.

The accusations on Twitter focus on a series of annotated screenshots which have been attributed to a user name @painted_frog.

The accusations are understood to focus on 30 pages of Wright’s thesis.

According to suggestions in the crypto press, it is possible that Wright could face having the qualification removed from him.

After the university (which is located in campuses across Australia) made its response, a user calling themselves “Arthur van Pelt – Dragon Industries” made further accusations.

“Thank you for the update. Please be aware that this fraudulent “student” has a decades long history of plagiarisms, and is using his “titles” to gain credibility as a (false) claimant of being Bitcoin’s creator. The stakes are high,” the user alleged.

Chris Lee

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