Alex Green, CEO of digital currency services startup Moopay LTD, known commonly as Moolah, has resigned following the company’s withdrawal of a proposed bankruptcy plan and the release of evidence allegedly tying him to fraud and past criminal activity.
The plan for Moolah to continue operating despite its financial troubles was announced on 15th October. In a blog post, the company said that it had secured outside funding – later revealed on the dogecoin subreddit to be a personal injection of cash from Green – and was weighing buy-out options from potentiamil investors.
In his resignation post, Green blamed himself for the failure but rejected claims that either digital currency services platform Moolah.io or altcoin exchange MintPal had behaved fraudulently, saying:
“There is no scam here, no matter how you look. There has been poor management however and that is my fault, it’s time to rectify that so the remaining employees, our investors, and our customers have a good shot at making something of what I have built.”
In the short term, the company said, Moolah will be moving away from consumer-facing services to focus on the merchant digital currency market.
Customer, investor concerns mount
In the wake of the resignation, members of both the dogecoin community – some of whom were investors in funding rounds conducted by Moolah, took to both Reddit and Twitter to voice their fears about both the future of the company they invested in and the safety of funds stored on either platform managed by Moolah.
Moopay announced today that withdrawal requests on the MintPal platform can be made through an augmented front-end of the exchange. Some users have been able to process withdrawals while others have reported delays or missing balances and transactions, according to customer accounts on Twitter.
Green’s resignation post did not include specific plans for addressing investor concerns regarding Moolah PIE shares, purchased during three investment rounds. In the message, he only said that the company was in the process of “ensuring that there is a chance [for] our investors to see continued ROI”.
On the dogecoin subreddit, a number of PIE investors voiced frustration that they were kept largely in the dark of the company’s troubles, which became apparent this week following Moolah’s failed relaunch of MintPal.
As one investor noted:
“You are the reason this failed. And we as investors and the public told you time and time again what you were doing [was] wrong and you didn’t listen to us. Ever. You’ve got no one to blame but yourself. And likewise, we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves for having blind faith in you. Live and learn.”
Syscoin project facing uncertainty
Several months ago, Moolah handled the initial coin offering (ICO) for the syscoin project. The alternative digital currency initiative got off to a rocky start, prompting Moolah to put in place a staggered release plan for the 750 BTC it held following the ICO.
The Moolah bankrutpcy, abrupt turn-around and subsequent leadership collapse prompted the syscoin development team to reach out to the company in order to have the remaining ICO funds released. Syscoin team manager and coder Dan Wasyluk said in a 16th October post on Bitcoin Talk that his team had begun looking into legal options after Moolah did not meet a pre-established 14th October payment deadline for the amount of 250 BTC.
That amount has since been released in the form of 50m syscoins, which according to Waslyuk were purchased during the ICO as a means to support the process.
“We have given Alex/Moopay LTD until 21:00 BST Oct 17, 2014 to release the entirety of the Syscoin escrow fund in order to prevent litigation. We have provided him with the contact for our legal counsel in the interim. We have not contacted UK Police as of yet. We will continue to keep the community posted on the action being taken here.
He added that the team wishes to avoid legal recourse and issued a call to the Moolah team to fulfill all of its obligations.
Fraud allegations grow
The now-ex CEO of Moolah had long faced criticism for questionable business practices. These include a hands on – and sometimes personal – approach to public relations and behind-the-scenes dealings made public in a video leaked earlier this year.
New information has been released by members of the dogecoin community, including dogecoin co-founder Jackson Palmer and former Dogecoin Foundation member Ben Doernberg, purportedly tying Green to a number of other identities.
A series of chat logs, photographs and social media accounts suggest that Green may have conducted a series of scams in the past, including another digital currency-focused startup, under the names Ryan Gentle, Ryan Kennedy and others.
Since the announcement, new information regarding past criminal activities purportedly committed by Green have been shared online, including testimonials from bitcoin traders and former associates of Green who shared information via Twitter. Green has denied the allegations, telling CoinDesk that the effort is “one hell of a smear campaign”.
The information release has prompted a broad reaction from the community, including a message from Andreas M Antonopoulos who thanked both Palmer and Doernberg for their actions.
— AndreasMAntonopoulos (@aantonop) October 16, 2014
Images via Moolah; Vidme