By Elias Hazou
Danny Brewster, founder and CEO of bitcoin marketers Neo & Bee, has broken his silence to respond to reports circulating about him of late.
Posting on reddit on Tuesday, Brewster (going by the handle cryptocyprus) said allegations that he has committed fraud are his “greatest concern” at the moment.
He went on to say that he sold bitcoins to a number of people prior to Neo & Bee opening to the public, with four of these people asking that he hold their bitcoins until they provide him a wallet address to send them to.
The company halted operations in late March before its software to carry out transactions had gone live.
“Sorry to disappoint those that believe the tales that I simply took them…. The keys are still stored on paper. The total sales to these four people amounts to 75.29270138 BTC which were purchased for a combined total of €35,213.57 so I have no idea where the values reported in the media have been derived from,” Brewster said.
Earlier, the Cyprus Mail had reported that Brewster was wanted by Cyprus police in connection to allegations that he fraudulently obtained cash from three people in exchange for bitcoins, which they never received. Two of the complaints filed against Brewster concerned the amounts of €20,000 and €15,000, police told the Mail.
Brewster denies any wrongdoing: “I have not received one single request from the individuals who bought the bitcoins from me to send the coins to an address they provided. With one exception a request was made but that was received from the individual that introduced one of the buyers to me, they requested for me to transfer the coins to his Bitstamp account.
“I didn’t send the coins to his address as he was not the person that I had the agreement with. One of these people went directly to the police following rumors that I had fled the country.”
The bitcoin entrepreneur goes on to claim he has been trying to contact police here for days via both phone and email, to no avail.
“If they do not contact me to arrange a solution, then I assume my greatest fears are true that they are doing nothing more than trying to set me up on charges to discredit both myself and Bitcoin as a whole, whilst creating more fear about challenging the status quo.”
Brewster suggests that the four customers provide their wallet addresses to the police, who can then forward this information to him. He has instructed a lawyer in Cyprus to facilitate this process.
He then provides three reasons why he did not return to Cyprus immediately after the issuance of an arrest warrant: “I have a family funeral to attend; The whole situation can be resolved without me doing so; The manner in which the investigations are being carried out are concerning, the police haven’t made an attempt to contact me despite numerous personal requests for them to do so.”
But police told the Mail later on Tuesday that Brewster hasn’t contacted them at any time.
In his reddit post, Brewster further denies that he has fled the country, adding that he plans to return. “I still have a house full of my own belongings, assets, family, friends and most importantly my daughter in Cyprus.”
In a post on a bitcoin forum on April 2, the young CEO said he had initially left Cyprus to seek investors for his business, but that subsequently decided to stay away after threats were made against his daughter.
The Bentley-owning Briton allegedly racked up debts of about €1m, according to the Financial Mirror. These stem from “a major marketing campaign, employing nearly 20 staff and developers, renting office space and buying furniture,” the paper said.
Responding, Brewster said there are creditors to his company but added: “I have not ran with any coins, we had made payments in excess of €1.4m with many of the coins being converted to euros before the run up in price, the largest amount converted at once was the day Silkroad was busted, I had to take the decision on that given day to convert them or risk them becoming pretty worthless and the business not getting off the ground.”