- Countinghouse managers spent some $2 million of ICO money on themselves before declaring bankruptcy, meaning investors can get nothing back
- One director has settled, with his payment going straight towards the victim group’s legal bill
- Victims are investigating crypto wallet activity associated with the operators
The operators of the fraudulent crypto investment fund Countinghouse spent $2 million in ICO money on themselves, according to sources inside the victim group. In an update to the group seen by FullyCrypto, it is now known that the ICO funds were spent by the directors on office rental, living and other expenses, and it is highly unlikely that a single trade ever took place in the year and a half the scheme was operating for.
Defrauded investors have been searching for justice since the fraud was revealed in December last year, hiring an Australian law firm to carry out work on their behalf to try and get some kind of recompense. One of the directors, Chris Yap, has agreed to settle, with the unspecified fee going towards the group’s legal costs.
Bankruptcy Claim Could be a Lie
In March, Countinghouse’s directors Michael Pomery and Tim Dawson declared bankruptcy, protecting any assets that could have been sold to pay off investors and intimating that they were penniless. However, activity has been seen with the cryptocurrency wallets associated with Dawson, with ETH and USDT sent to Binance as recently as last week and thousands of dollars worth remaining. Following this discovery, the group have pledged to investigate further and try to uncover any funds potentially remaining in crypto wallets.
Dawson and Pomery’s bankruptcy filing has all but ended the group’s legal action, with the lawyers compiling the information they have gained while working on the case before sending it to the authorities, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), of which Countinghouse were members, for potential further action.
Bitter Pill to Swallow
The fact that Countinghouse seems to have been a Ponzi scheme from day one has been particularly hard for some victims to take, with many pointing to the openness of the fund managers during its operation and their membership of ASIC as two of the many reasons why they felt safe.
As information on the Countinghouse scam continues to drip through, what is becoming clear is that even something that walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and is registered with the National Association for Ducks might, after all, not be a duck.