ICO founder's accounts frozen, luxury vehicles & assets seized! I tracked down the CEO - he claims CONSPIRACY, and he might be right...

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The Canadian government has frozen the personal banking accounts and seized assets of the founders of blockchain technology company Vanbex, which was behind the ICO "Etherparty" which occurred in October 2017. The token behind the project trades under the name "FUEL".

I'll mention upfront - I hold no tokens, never have, and have no ties to the company whatsoever.

With that said, upon starting my investigation it immediately became apparent that this case is a bit different from the busted ICO's I've covered in the past. There's a few areas that need clarification until I can agree with either the Canadian government's accusations, or say that the charges seem unfounded and proclaim Etherparty innocent.

Also important to note, no one has been officially charged with any crimes at the time of publishing this article.


Canada’s Ministry of Attorney General asserts that Vanbex "developed no usable products", and claims the funds from ICO investors went right into the founders pockets and personal bank accounts.

They cite what appears to be "sudden and substantial personal wealth” in the founder's personal lives at the same time their company was raising funds, pointing to over $3 million in real estate and luxury vehicles as evidence.


The case against them sounds believable so far - we've all heard this story before, and unfortunately it's usually true.

Problem is, the claims against them aren't entirely accurate, the company has released a finished product, described as a platform to "help you launch and track a token generation event without needing a development team so you can get your  business off the ground" called 'Rocket' which has even been featured in Forbes.  Currently they're even promoting the upcoming release of version 2.0.

I also found this video which was uploaded while the ICO was underway in 2017, showing their product was in beta at the time of fundraising - in the video they're giving a demo of the software which seems functional.

As far as that 'sudden' wealth - who else in the cryptocurrency world suddenly had a lot of money late 2017?  Literally everybody.


Trying to make sense of this mismatch of information I tracked down the company CEO Kevin Hobbs, and that's when things really got interesting.

Hobbs claims "Everything they wrote about us is a lie" saying they're being framed by a paranoid former contractor with a history of irrational behavior and making unfounded accusations.

"He makes his money by lying to start ups and then doing no work and then suing them in small claims" says Hobbs. He also says the same source of his problems is going after Google as well, and is one of Canada's best known 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

I then asked him about the sudden influx of money - Hobbs says like anyone who was into crypto before the 2017 boom, his assets shot up in value, specifying "Personal assets not company assets" he explains "We have been in the crypto space since 2013 and would accept newly minted coins when they were pretty much worthless for our fees. Us just like many people all had sudden wealth with the boom happened."


I did find one thing I consider a valid criticism of the company, but I doubt it qualifies as illegal - the ICO whitepaper implies the FUEL token will be vital to use their products, but they accept payment in Fuel, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. So the token seems to be totally useless, but nonetheless they do accept it as a form of payment.

So the real deciding factor will be - what was the root of the founder's sudden wealth?

Tokens they had accumulated since 2013 and a powerful bull market? Or did investor's funds make their way from the company accounts, and into executive's personal ones?

Both options are familiar, and believable.

Share your thoughts - tweet us @GlobalCryptoDev If you're an insider with additional information you can reach us and remain anonymous at Newsroom@GlobalCryptoPress.com

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Ross@GlobalCryptoPress.com Twitter:@RossFM

San Francisco News Desk

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