Although the cryptocurrency space is seen taking several efforts in regulatory controls to prevent fraud and money laundering, new scams continue to emerge every now and then. This time we have a news coming from Vietnam as the CEO of a crypto-mining firm Sky Mining is alleged to have fled away taking $35 million of investor and company funds, reports local media publication VNExpress.
The publication notes that Le Minh Tam, head of Sky Mining, has been missing from his office since the 26th of July. Sky Mining is said to have received funds from nearly 5000 individuals after the firm claimed to rent crypto miners for anywhere between $100-$5000. Each investor was promised a 300 percent return form their miners and were allowed to keep the machines for a period of 15-18 months.
The publication noted that Sky Mining CEO Le Minh Tam last Wednesday in a Facebook post has apologized to investors for “everything” while explaining that the company’s profitability had dropped considerably with the market volatility. In his post, Tam also asked to go to the company office and claim their invested capital after which he would officially announce the bankruptcy.
However, when the investors reached the Sky Mining’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters, they were surprised to find that the company’s office and mining facility were empty and the mining machines were already missing. Tam later claimed that he had sold those machines to cover the financial loss and his surprise disappearance was towards protecting his life.
Sky Mining’s deputy chairman, Le Minh Hieu is said to have formed a dedicated “board” to assist investors who have lost their money besides assessing other things like the extent of losses and the remianing asset value. Hieu said that as Tam was directly in charge with the company’s mining rigs, he was unable to provide the details of the assets. However, the publication notes that investors estimate the loss to be around $35 million.
While talking to VNExpress, Hieu said that he believes that Tam has fled to the U.S. While sounding completely innocent in this matter, he said:
“[The board] has reported this to the police and showed evidence that we are not guilty. We are victims, too.”
However, in a twist of events, VNExpress published another report showing Tam to have released a 44 seconds video on Telegram where he claims to have been receiving medical treatment with a promise to return the investor’s funds. “I will contact you as soon as possible so that all workshops will be financially viable and affordable. You will have your money, thank you for your cooperation, I did not run or go anywhere, I will come back soon,” said Tam.
However, considering the way Tam fled away, there is a little trust in his words of him returning back. “Where Mr. Tam actually fled, the ability of investors to get money is almost zero. Currently, models such as Sky Mining is completely out of the legal field, so when the trouble will be difficult to legally,” commented Vo Do Thang, director of the Athena Network Security Training Center in Ho Chi Minh City.