Canadian police froze the assets of the founders of the Vanbex blockchain project as part of an investigation into a fraud case involving an ICO held in 2017, when the company managed to raise $ 22 million, CoinDesk reports.
According to court documents, the organizers of ICO were involved in the distribution of the FUEL token, which was to be used in the system of smart contracts caleld Etherparty and “the value of the FUEL token would increase dramatically."
[Vanbex] developed no usable products did not intend to develop the products they were marketing but rather [acted] with [the] intention to misappropriate the corporately invested funds raised for their own personal benefit. FUEL tokens became virtually worthless in dollar value while not being capable of use in the non-existent smart contracts system or for any product or service other than a cryptocurrency coin creating service called Rocket.
Director of civil forfeiture, Canada’s Ministry of Attorney General
To date, no criminal charges have been filed. The founders of Vanbex deny their guilt in fraud, pointing out that they did not make promises related to the price rise, and claim to cooperate with the investigation. They also noted that Vanbex settlement accounts were not blocked, and the number of their clients exceeded 50.
The court, however, allowed two Land Rover cars to be confiscated from them and ordered the Bank of Montreal to freeze accounts with a little less than $ 1 million, taking into account the fact that simultaneously with the ICO, they "suddenly acquired substantial personal property", including two condos in Vancouver and Toronto $ 3 million each, mentioned cars, and also leased Lamborghini for $ 375,000 for three years.
In addition, one of them spent investor money on gambling "in domestic jurisdiction and abroad at the high roller level." In November 2017, the British Lot Columbia Lottery Corporation included it in its “special control list” to prevent the game from being played without confirming the source of funds. The suspect, in turn, said that in the past he was a professional poker player and never received a ban on visiting a casino.