Over $35 Million Stolen By Sky Mining CEO
Investors and board members of Ho Chi Minh City-based Sky Mining have alleged that the company’s chief executive officer, Le Minh Tam, has fled the country and run away with approximately $35 million USD in investors funds.
Mr. Tam has been out of reach since Monday, with the exception of an apology note posted to investors on Wednesday via Facebook. Investors reportedly visited the company’s main office in Phu Nhuan District to discover “the building closed and the company nameplate removed.” Additionally, “all 600 mining machines in the company’s factory in the neighboring Dong Nai Province’s Bien Hoa Town had been taken away by a group of people claiming to be maintenance workers.”
Vietnam’s securities watchdog, the State Securities Commission of Vietnam, last week banned public companies, securities companies, fund management companies and securities investment funds from issuing cryptocurrencies or conducting brokerage activities related to them. This is seen to be the leading cause of the CEO’s disappearance.
Sky Mining claimed to specialize in purchasing computers to solve algorithms, a process known as cryptocurrency mining. It invited investors to buy a computer system that performs the necessary computations for mining, known as the mining rig. Investors need to pay $100 to $5,000 for each of these rigs, which will be kept at Sky Mining’s 26 storage spots all over the country for mining. Sky Mining promises that after 12 months, investors would earn back all their initial investment in addition to a profit of up to 300 percent. Investors will have to return the mining machines to Sky Mining after that period.
The deputy chairman of the company, Le Minh Hieu, said that he has formed a temporary board of 16 people to support investors and calculate the remaining asset of the company. Hieu said that Tam has gone to the U.S., taking all the money of the company and its investors. He said he was not clear about the details of the company’s assets as Tam had directly managed the mining rigs and storage. “The board has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty,” said Hieu, who said many investors have threatened to hurt his family.
The Sky Mining fraud is similar to that of another tech company in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 that was stormed by investors demanding refunds in April. The mode of operation was similar to most other scams. The company guaranteed that the lowest interest investors would receive was 48 percent per month, with a payback period of fewer than four months. The alleged $650 million loss is 150 times larger than Modern Tech’s initial equity of $4.4 million invested by a group of only eight people who founded the company in October 2017.