Assets of the founders of Vanbex, a blockchain consulting firm who minced $22 million in an alleged fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) has been frozen by the Canadian police, according to a court document released on March 14.
As per the court document, Kevin Hobbs and Lisa Cheng, founders of Vanbex have claimed that they operated a Vancouver-based cryptocurrency firm starting from 2017. Interchangeably called Vanbex and Etherparty is basically a shell company that developed no useable products, the court document argues.
Two accounts of Vanbex co-founder Hobbs have now be frozen by police and seized the founders’ two new Land Rovers. In addition, the founders are ordered not to sell, borrow or damage their Vancouver condominium for at least 30 days or until further order from the court.
Vanbex reportedly launched its cryptocurrency Etherparty (FUEL) in 2017. The token was purportedly designed to provide an ecosystem for the company’s smart contracts system, promising investors massive returns. Reportedly, 30 million Canadian dollars ($22 million) were raised in a FUEL pre-sale. The funds allegedly accompanied by a sudden acquisition of substantial wealth by both founders, the document notes.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) launched a fraud investigation into Etherparty and Vanbex, following the allegedly fraudulent ICO scheme, along with as Hobbs and Cheng, in May 2018. During the investigation of May 2017 through July 2018, as per RCMP, Hobbs and Cheng were defrauding investors by falsely offering corporate investment in FUEL tokens.
Notably, the did not intend to use the invested funds to develop products, but rather with the intention to use them for their personal benefit. The court document listed objects of property that were allegedly purchased with the misappropriated funds. The list includes real estate and vehicles, as well as part of the funds, were used by Hobbs to engage in gambling activities.
Moreover, the document also mentioned some of Hobbs’ criminal history, including money laundering and marijuana trafficking. As of press time, Vanbex has not commented on the court’s order to Cointelegraph, while the firm’s Twitter account is also silent about the issue. Etherparty is down about 8 percent over the day, trading at $0.0128, with its market capitalization around $7.7 million, according to CoinMarketCap.
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