Vancouver’s Vanbex ICO Marketing Company has been Served – Property, Bank Accounts, Lambos and Land Rovers Seized

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Court documents made available online last week show ICO industry services company Vanbex is under investigation and their properties have been seized in a civil case, after raising CAD$30 million in cryptocurrency and fiat in a 2017 ICO for a project called Etherparty which issued a utility token called Fuel.  

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“The criminal investigation is ongoing and currently no charges have been laid against either of the defendants.”

According to the report, not long after raising the funds, Vanbex co-founders Kevin Hobbs and Lisa Cheng purchased a luxury downtown condo in Vancouver for CAD$4 million they recently tried to liquidate for CAD$7.8 million. 

The paper reports that Vanbex co-founder Kevin Hobbs not only leased a CAD$500,000 Lamborghini, he bought a $3.8 million dollar house in Toronto with cash and gambled away almost CAD$2 million. No stranger to crime, Hobbs was busted in an NYC hotel in 2005 with 100 pounds of marijuana and CAD$200,000 dollars in cash and was criminally charged with marijuana production and money laundering in Nova Scotia in 2008-2009. 

VANBEXHobbs and Cheng talked to Coindesk and have denied the allegations of fraud, saying the investigations are the result of “false claims by a former contractor.”

The founders also issued a statement online.

Please find our response to the accusations made by the Director of Civil Forfeiture regarding the seizure of our personal assets located here. Facts:

    • Vanbex is far from a shell company. We are a legitimate consulting and development business in the cryptocurrency field – which is completely legal.
    • As opposed to what the media and the lawsuit have stated about us being a “shell company” or scam, Vanbex has over 26 staff and a very substantial payroll to match.
    • We were never aware of any RCMP or CRA investigation until we saw the notice of civil claim in late March.
    • We never liquidated any assets to “avoid” any investigation. All of our assets were purchased with funds that were lawfully ours to use.
    • We have never misappropriated funds.
    • No company funds were ever used for gambling purposes.
    • None of our assets are the proceeds or instruments of any unlawful activity.
    • FUEL tokens are a necessary and important part of our business model and a real form of currency.
    • The RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency never contacted us or we would have immediately provided them with all the truthful information and documents.
    • At no time was there any deceit or false representation to misappropriate funds from our customers or shareholders.

    Please see our full response to the Civil Claim that was filed this afternoon. We intend to defend vigorously and to present a complete and truthful narrative for the court. We are confident that at the end of the day the truth will come out and the facts will prevail in our favour.

    We would appreciate if the media would clarify their stories to reflect these facts. Please note we will not be taking interviews until the court proceedings have been completed.

    Sincerely,
    Lisa Cheng and Kevin Hobbs
    Vanbex

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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