Willie Breedt, CEO of South African cryptocurrency investment firm VaultAge Solutions, has been officially declared bankrupt while on the run from angry investors.
- As reported by News24 on Monday, Breedt – who is suspected of defrauding over 2,000 investors – was handed a sequestration order by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.
- A sequestration order is an order delivered by a court that forces a debtor into bankruptcy.
- The order came after Breedt went into hiding from investors who were seeking the return of around 277 million South African rand ($16.3 million) they had placed with VaultAge for investment in cryptocurrencies.
- Investors assigned debt collectors to try and recover their losses.
- Breedt had told police he was being intimidated before he disappeared.
- He was discovered by investigators hiding at a guest house in the Silver Lakes Estate in Pretoria.
- After the court order was granted, a raid was conducted on the Silver Lakes premises by the sheriff of the court, South African police, an organized crime unit called the Hawks, and a team of forensic investigators specializing in crypto crime.
- A number of electronic devices were seized including a laptop and a Ledger Nano hardware wallet – a device for storing cryptocurrencies.
- The South African Reserve Bank, the country's central bank, has now assigned PricewaterhouseCoopers to investigate VaultAge Solutions and agents involved in selling cryptocurrencies for the now-defunct company.
- The sequestration order resulted from a court application from one of the firm's biggest investors, Simon Dix, who said he is owed 7.5 million rand (almost half a million U.S. dollars) by the firm.