Investors in a South African digital currency company called VaultAge Solutions fear that the founder may have fled the country. The South African police are investigating the man, but according to local reports, the founder most likely fled to neighboring Mozambique. Willie Breedt, the founder of VaultAge Solutions, lured in investors with promises of weekly returns on their investments, with the investments starting at $50. According to local outlet News24, the startup claimed to invest in digital currency mining and trading. The startup had over 2,000 investors.
The alleged scammer has not paid investors since December.
It had all been smooth-sailing for the investors up until late last year when the payments stopped. They pursued the startup’s founder to demand their money, and he promised to pay them back. The last time they were able to contact him was December 2019, according to the report. Some had suspected that he was hiding in the country, but the Department of Home Affairs has revealed that Willie Breedt left South Africa for Mozambique on December 21 last year. This news has left many investors devastated, as it seems they might never get their funds back.
Most of the investors in the startup are pensioners.
VaultAge was launched in 2018 by Willie Breedt, and in its two years of existence, the startup had raised millions of dollars. One investor told News24 that he had invested 6 million rands worth $348,000. Others claimed to have invested their pension. Many of the investors in this startup are pensioners as one investor contended that they are pensioners and invested R200 000 ($11,580). From December until April this year, investors received payments on the growth of their investment. Since then, they did not get any money from the company. Despite raising millions of dollars in investment from over 2000 people, VaultAge wasn’t registered with the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA).