Moshe Hogeg, the chief executive of the blockchain smartphone startup Sirin Labs, was sued by Hong Kong-based mobile phone manufacturer Foxconn International Holding (FIH) for unpaid bills used to manufacture the Finney blockchain phones, according to Israel-based technology news site CTech.
- FIH is asking for more than 20 million shekels ($5.9 million) in compensation from Hogeg and his associates Tzvika Landau and Guy Elhanini, after saying it received only one payment in November 2018.
- Sirin Labs co-CEO Landau told CTech the suit was a stunt to create “media pressure.”
- Hogeg’s Sirin Labs raised $157 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) in early 2018 to build an Android smartphone with special cryptocurrency features including an app store for distributed apps (dapps).
- Sales of this blockchain smartphone, however, were disappointing after a number of competing blockchain- and crypto- focused phones hit the market. As a result, Sirin Labs laid off 15 of its 60 employees in 2019.
- Hogeg, a well-known – and controversial – international crypto mogul, has been sued multiple times both in Israel and abroad. As reported by CoinDesk, he and his other blockchain firm, Stox, were reportedly being sued for allegedly misappropriating some of the crypto millions invested in the firm.
UPDATE (Aug. 12, 2020, 21:00 UTC): Moshe Hogeg is being used for 20 million shekels, not $20 million. The headline and article have been updated.