Willie Breedt, chief executive officer of the crypto investment firm, VaultAge Solutions, has been declared bankrupt, who is currently on the run after defrauding thousands of investors, reported News24.
Started in 2018, the company traded Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its investors and promised to act as a “digital vault that grows wealth over time” to “alleviate financial strains from individuals, entrepreneurs, investors, and communities.”
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has sent a sequestration order that forces debtors into bankruptcy, to Breedt, who is currently under investigation for defrauding 2,000 investors for 277 million South African rands ($13.3 million).
The order was given after one of the company's most prominent investors, Simon Dix, who entrusted R7.5 million (just over $440k) to Breedt, applied for it. Insolvency was granted, and previously, two accounts belonging to the company were also frozen.
Breedt went into hiding two weeks ago after some irate investors sent a group of “debt collectors” to recover their money from him. Just before he disappeared, he told police that he was being intimidated.
After the court granted the order, the police and a team of specialist cryptocurrency forensic investigators raided a house in Silver Lake where Breedt was allegedly hiding since mid-June, but he hasn't been arrested yet.
The police, however, did find several electronic devices, including a laptop and his hardware wallet, Ledger Nano, that store cryptos.
The central bank of the country, South African Reserve Bank has now assigned PricewaterCoopers to investigate ValutAge and all the agents that were involved in selling cryptocurrencies.