Willie Breedt, CEO of VaultAge Solutions, who is alleged to have scammed bitcoin investors out of millions.
- Willie Breedt is accused of going on the run after allegedly failing to repay the money investors had paid him.
- Around 2 000 investors put an estimated R227 million into Breedt’s VaultAge Solutions to invest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- The South African Reserve Bank, through PricewaterhouseCoopers, is probing the sale of cryptocurrency by VaultAge agents.
Willie Breedt, the alleged bitcoin and cryptocurrency scammer, has been declared bankrupt.
News24 earlier reported around 2 000 investors in Breedt’s defunct company, VaultAge Solutions (VS), stand to lose around R227 million after promises by Breedt to pay out their investments and growth were not honoured.
On Friday, one of the biggest investors, who entrusted R7.5 million to Breedt, Simon Dix from Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, successfully applied for a sequestration order against Breedt.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria granted the order to Dix.
READ | Investors heading to High Court after cryptocurrency CEO fails to pay back millions
In January, Breedt moved from Krugersdorp in Gauteng to the luxury Marina Martinique Estate in Aston Bay near Jeffreys Bay.
Two weeks ago, he hurriedly went into hiding after some irate investors, allegedly led by a colonel in the South African National Defence Force, called in the services of a group of “debt collectors” to find Breedt and recover their money from him.
He opened a case of intimidation with police in Jeffreys Bay just before disappearing.
While awaiting the verdict of the sequestration application by Dix, investigators managed to track Breedt down at a guest house in the Silver Lakes Estate in Pretoria.
It was also established that Breedt did not book into the guesthouse under his own name but that of a friend, possibly to try and hide his identity.
Shortly after the order was granted to Dix, the sheriff of the court, assisted by the police, the Hawks and a team of specialist cryptocurrency forensic investigators, raided a house in Silver Lakes where Breedt had allegedly been hiding since mid-June.
They served the court order on him while he was with a medical doctor friend who also resides in Silver Lakes.
During the raid, numerous electronic devices, among others a laptop and nano stick, were confiscated.
The nano stick is a secure storage device which might contain information of where the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies Breedt traded might be.
Cryptocurrency is usually kept in a crypto wallet, to which only the owner has access.
The group of investors were earlier also granted a court order to freeze two South African bank accounts belonging to Breedt and VS.
Despite rumours that Breedt was arrested on Friday, News24 confirmed that this was not true.
In the meantime, the South African Reserve Bank has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to launch an investigation into VS and all agents who were involved in selling cryptocurrency on behalf of the company.
Note: This article earlier stated that KPMG had been appointed by the South African Reserve Bank. It is in fact PricewaterhouseCooopers that has been appointed. We sincerely regret the error. It has now been rectified.