Willie Breedt, a South African accused of stealing up to $16.3 million from some 2,000 investors through his VaultAge Solutions scheme, was forced to declare bankruptcy by a local court.
According to a recent News24 report, the kidnapping order was initiated on 3 July by Simon Dix, one of VaultAge’s largest investors, who charged Breedt with 7.5 million South African rand, or about $440,000.
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VaultAge Solutions was founded in 2018, with the promise of weekly returns on client deposits through the mining and cryptology trade and the acceptance of deposits starting at $50. Investors in the scheme have reportedly received only 1% of expected returns.
Breedt hid in South Africa, not Mozambique
Before going into hiding about two weeks ago, the Crypto Cash operator opened a harassment case with police in Jeffreys Bay.
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A group of debt collectors hired by angry investors tracked him down at a hostel on the Silver Lakes estate in Pretoria, where he registered under a false name. Previous reports suggest that the CEO of VaultAge fled the country to Mozambique in December 2019.
Shortly after the kidnapping order was issued, South Africa’s Priority Crimes Investigation Directorate, known as „the Hawks“, raided the site, confiscating a laptop computer and a physical Ledger Nano crypt wallet that may contain some of the missing funds. According to News24, Breedt has yet to be arrested.
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In addition, the South African Reserve Bank has reportedly assigned PwC to lead an investigation into VaultAge and all agents who may have conducted transactions on its behalf.
Breedt’s bank account, which previously held $3.15 million, was emptied earlier this month.