Vanbex Fights Back Against Asset Seizure in Civil Case by Suing Former Contractor for Libel

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Canadian ICO and Blockchain services company Vanbex, is taking a former contractor to court for libel and say he lied to police and authorities which ignited a civil case against the company and resulted in the seizure of millions of dollars in properties, a Lamborghini and two Range Rovers, as reported in Blockchain News

“Vanbex has great employees and great products. We will defend ourselves vigorously with the truth. We will defend our business and the right to do our business. Our company is entirely lawful. We have acted properly. This is an insult to our 26 employees and their hard work.”

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According to a blog post at Vanbex, Lisa Cheng and Kevin Hobbs are filing the lawsuit which alleges that the former contractor Kip Warner published and made false and defamatory statements to an associate of his in the Vancouver Police Department as well as the RCMP maliciously knowing that they were false or, alternatively, with reckless indifference to whether they were true or false, and for the main purpose of harming Kevin Hobbs, Lisa Cheng, and their company Vanbex.

Strangely, the Vanbex blog kicks off with an ad hominem attack on Warner calling him a 9-11 conspiracy theorist, which appears to be an attempt to discredit him for not believing the US government narrative on 9-11. Ironically, most Americans don’t believe the government story as shown by a Zogby 2007 poll which indicated that 51 percent of Americans wanted the United States Congress to probe President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney regarding the 9/11 attacks.  That more or less makes most Americans 9-11 conspiracy theorists. 

They blame Warner’s actions for the Vancouver Sun article which called Vanbex a scam. But it seems the article in question appears to refer to civil forfeiture office’s claim and does not appear to quote Warner or use him as a source for the damning report. 

The company issued the following comments:

  • Vanbex is far from a shell company. We are a legitimate consulting and development business in the cryptocurrency field – which is completely legal.
  • 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.

To read the Lawsuit against Warner click here

Vanbex, no stranger to courtrooms it seems, was also taken to court in 2017, by former client Elev3n, LLC, for the alleged misuse of funds and copyrighted materials to develop its own website (Etherparty.io) and product to launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on September 29, 2017 Elev3n, LLC v. Vanbex Group, Inc., et al, C.A. 2:17-cv-04350-AB, and according to court documents Vanbex misrepresented its capabilities as a company, which was founded by Lisa Cheng and whose CEO is Kevin Patrick Hobbs, for failing to disclose material and reasonable facts prior to engagement, including having no employees to carry out the work promised, inflating their capabilities and experiences in developing web/app platforms, failing to provide nearly all of the promised deliverables, receiving funds for services never rendered.

Warner was also cited in the 2017 case.

According to Warner:

“…as the Director of Engineering, l had no engineers to direct. I did not have a workstation, there were no engineering schematics, working notes, source code, build environment, executable programs, object code, formulae, algorithms, data structures, or other materials essential to the actual functionality of the underlying technology.”

“Vanbex did not appear to have any technological assets – past or present. The only materials it had were promotional, browser-based cosmetic user interfaces, and marketing materials. I was the only software engineer with a relevant formal
academic background that they had ever retained.”

According to the PDF, once at Vanbex, Mr. Warner was instructed not to work on Elev3n’s platform, but instead work on internal products for Vanbex. For their own ICO. 

In 2018, Vanbex also got hit with another lawsuit from a software company called Axel who wanted to tokenise their file management software which already had 3 million users – and wanted to do an ICO. Apparently, they paid $80,000 for two months retainer and claimed they got nothing for it. They demanded a jury trial and filed against Vanbex in 2018 for:

  1. Fraud in the inducement
  2. Negligent misrepresentation
  3. Breach of contract
  4. Breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing

 

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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