Danny Brewster, CEO of bitcoin services company Neo & Bee, is reportedly facing fraud charges filed by two customers in Cyprus who claim that they have never received any bitcoins from the company.
According to a report in the Cyprus Mail, the customers paid €15,000 and €20,000 respectively, for the bitcoins, which never materialised. Police are investigating, the newspaper says.
Earlier this week Neo & Bee was caught up in a media frenzy, after it emerged that the company may be facing insolvency. Neo & Bee then asked Havelock Investments to suspend trading of LMB Holdings shares.
LMB Holdings is the parent company of Neo & Bee, and the request was made after Neo & Bee detected what it described as "questionable trading activity".
Neo & Bee had a potential PR disaster on its hands, as online commentators started making serious allegations, alleging that Brewster left Cyprus and defrauded investors.
Brewster returned fire on the Bitcoin Talk forum. He admitted that he was temporarily out of the country, but stressed that was away on business. The CEO then said he was looking for an investor for the troubled company.
However, Brewster consequently said he had changed his plans, after receiving threats targeted at his daughter. He is now looking to sell his entire equity in the company and pull out of Neo & Bee altogether, he said.
However, the Cyprus Mail states that it contacted the police authorities and learned that Brewster has not reported any threats, either against him or his family. Brewster claims otherwise. In his Bitcoin Talk post, he specifically said that the threats were reported to the authorities.
Brewster referenced his staff and some personal matters in his most recent public statement. That led to suspicions that there was a falling out between Brewster and his Cyprus-based team.
Now it appears that the staff have had enough. One employee told Cyprus Mail reporter Elias Hazou that "no one's in charge" and that staff members were "clearing out". Hazou says the company's head office in Nicosia was "all but deserted" yesterday.
The staff member confirmed that the local staff had not received their March wages and that they did not know anything about Brewster's whereabouts. Brewster apparently left Cyprus on or before 19th March and the staff member had not heard from him since.
This would explain why Neo & Bee has not issued any public statements about the current situation, as they appear to have been kept out of the loop over the past two weeks. Moreover, since the staff have now, temporarily or otherwise, deserted the premises, it seems that there is nobody aside from Brewster to communicate for the company.
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