Following the latest statement released by Danny Brewster, CEO of Neo & Bee Ltd, we, the personnel involved at an executive level within Neo and Bee, feel it is appropriate and justified to make the following statement regarding the mistruths and outright lies being fed to investors, creditors and the public. In the interests of preserving the potential that the company can be turned around, we had remained silent on the matter up to this point.
The senior management team would like to extend their deepest regrets for the events that have transpired with Neo & Bee. Every member of the team was wholly devoted to the cause of making the company a success and dedicated their every hour to this cause. We equally regret our inability to rectify the situation and protect the profit shareholders and actual shareholders (Danny Brewster). We were misled and the truth was obfuscated from us under so many layers, that combined with our workload, proved enough to allow the CEO to run rampant, without accountability and with full control of all the bitcoins, until it was too late.
After a lot of silence, and possibly after he was informed by the media of the arrest warrant, he posted the “full” picture on Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/232v5n/the_full_picture_from_danny_brewste
The following are the facts witnessed and attestable by senior management at Neo & Bee Ltd. It is most of what some of us have personally testified with all existing documentation, to the local authorities. Anyone willing to verify these should please contact them.
Danny Brewster is the sole Director, shareholder and CEO of the group of companies. He was solely responsible for raising approximately 9.400 bitcoins prior to hiring any employees through crowdfunding on multiple platforms. Once we assumed our duties, we repeatedly made requests regarding transparency of bitcoins in the company’s possession so that the CFO could perform his duties. The CEO never divulged specific documented information regarding the IPVO bitcoins and amounts. To this date, and unless further information is revealed by Danny Brewster, the CFO is unable to account for the majority of bitcoins allegedly expended. Danny Brewster was the sole custodian of funds raised from the IPVO and despite repeated requests from both the CFO and Compliance and Risk Management Officer, he consistently deflected and delayed any attempts to have the coins witnessed or accounted for - increasing concerns leading up to the events of March 19th.
Tuesday 18th of March Mr. Brewster told a member of the management team that the company had 5000 Bitcoins remaining. This directly goes against what was said the following day.
Mr. Brewster called a meeting for all of the senior management team on the 19th of March in which he informed us that the company was down to its last 140 bitcoins. Mr. Brewster proceeded to give a very rough and incoherent breakdown of where the funds had been spent. After revealing the lack of funds to his employees he went on to raise the possibility of selling more “profit shares” to increase liquidity. All employees sternly objected to this and the idea has since not been raised since. In defence of the sudden announcement on the 19th of March that the company only had 140 bitcoins remaining, Mr. Brewster stated in front of the same people that he had mis-accounted for 5000 of his own bitcoins, bitcoins he thought he owned but after “checking” a wallet, realised had actually spent them all.
How Mr. Brewster’s personal finances are relevant to the financial situation the company found itself in is highly questionable. Should Mr. Brewster still have owned these 5000 bitcoins, the company would nonetheless be in the same situation, albeit with a potential credit line. Mr. Brewster claims varying amounts between 1400 and 1700 of the company’s bitcoins were lost in We-exchange/Bitfunder. Mr. Brewster’s claims that none of the company’s coins were lost in Mt. Gox directly contradict information given on the 19th of March to the whole of the management team, that we in fact lost 2480 bitcoins in Mt. Gox. We are aware Mr. Brewster now claims 369 of his own funds were lost in Mt. Gox, but again this has no relevance on the company’s finances.
His personal investment in the company (claimed in an older newspaper interview) varied upwards to 6 million (assuming Euro). There is no logical trace of this investment or where it was spent. At the same time, it appears to us, that he customarily made payments through his Bitstamp account to creditors, and many of us have multiple indications that he was trading there and in every other major exchange. When asked, he always replied that it was his personal holdings. There are conflicting statements from him, which indicate that he never separated the company funds from his personal. Bitcoins lost in the exchanges were at some points reported to be his, and at other the company’s.
Mr. Brewster came to the office for one hour on Thursday the 20th and one hour on Friday the 21st. On Thursday the 20th it was made very clear to him that the whole of the management team wished Danny to be removed as the CEO. Danny agreed to step down after transferring control of the company to investors. He claimed he was flying to the UK to speak with investors the following week. After leaving on Monday the 24th, no one was able to get in contact with him until the 28th when he wrote to us that due to threats against his daughter’s life he should remain silent, and in England (despite his daughter being in Cyprus). The supposed threat email is dated 26th of March, while Mr. Brewster has been out of contact long before that. We mentioned this claimed threat to the local authorities here on the 28th as well, since any potential threat of any form should not be taken lightly. They said that this was the first time they heard of it, from us.
Danny claims this alleged threat also caused him to decide to transfer the company to an administrator for restructuring or liquidation. Despite considering this before leaving, as he said to us, he only settled on it after said threat. On the 31st, we sent him a demand letter requesting he returns and give explanations regarding his absence in the face of dire problems with the company, and the brand decomposing each day he is away and the company is unfunded. The deadline expired on 18:30 Cyprus time, April the 2nd, Wednesday.
He posted his reply on the morning of the same day, causing an outrage of the personnel and management that were in the office, still waiting for any sort of coherent response and a way forward. No documentation regarding the bitcoins he supposedly has accounted, has reached the personnel of the company, despite the numerous demands from us, and claims from him that they “are all accounted for”.
Claiming that the threats may have originated within the company is simply adding insult to injury. The people that worked ceaselessly and tirelessly over long hours and weekends, the same people that said they would go unpaid for months when he said he had no more bitcoins, the same people that tried to save his brand, willingly working for an increasingly unlikely wage while he was away, were suspect for threats in his books. For all of the above reasons, upon reading his last response, everyone in the company filed our resignations to be forwarded to the local Registrar of Companies, in absence of the CEO.
A recommendation to halt trading was sent to Mr. Brewster on the 27th. The recommendation was sent to hinder any insider trading activity, considering that it was unlikely that the information about the financial situation of the company could be contained, if he remained in hiding. We were not contacted before trading reinitiated on Havelock on the 4th.
Mr. Brewster has personally sold bitcoins to local Cypriots and staff, and remained the personal custodian of these bitcoins. These bitcoins are now unaccounted for, and the management team was left to face these creditors who we didn’t even know had bought bitcoins from Mr. Brewster. We invite any more that have a documented sale of bitcoins from Mr. Brewster and placed under his custody, to present said evidence to the authorities.
Also, contrary to Mr. Brewster’s claims that he left the island with none of the company’s money, he did in fact and still does hold the company’s remaining 140 Bitcoins (if that’s what’s left).The 140 BTC were never delivered to cover any debt or running expenses despite him being asked and confirming this verbally to all present. His claim later on, was that his lawyer had advised him not to send the coins. To this day we can only assume he is still in possession of these remaining coins.
He is also in possession of personal bitcoins of two employees (~50 bitcoins), as well as at least the bitcoins of multiple other people who bought from him as mentioned above, and entrusted their coins to him for safekeeping. While we now know that one of his cars has changed owners Mercedes and the Bentley is in a car dealer with other plates (probably sold as well), he has remained silent, despite having clearly said that potential funds from selling the cars would go to paying salaries and creditors.
Which brings us here. We will remain in contact with the community and authorities to clear this situation out to its full extent. This was the doing of one person in full control of a business’ funds, not technology and certainly not Bitcoin’s. What we face, is in its core, a corporate governance failure, pervasive in conventional businesses even more often than it is in Bitcoin businesses. Contrary to conventional businesses, where regulation is the only response, the tools are available here, to ensure in the future that these things don’t happen.
- George Papageorgiou, former COO
- Øystein Aaby, former Compliance and Risk Management Officer
From a blog I'm watching:
" A Quantum Immortal
Circle is out of stealth – a major Coinbase/PayPal competitor
Posted: 16 May 2014 07:52 PM PDT
Update – the best way I found to explain Circle is – “Circle is the first bank that fully integrates Bitcoin. They’re not quite an official bank yet, but they’re probablly going down that ‘upgrade path’.”
Circle.com is one of the most talked about Bitcoin startups, that were in stealth until yesterday. They raised 20-30 million USD in the last year, and now we finally know what they do:
Circle provides a Bitcoin wallet that:
Has a beautiful, clean interface Is automatically secured with multisig, cold storage and 2-factor auth Is insured Has zero fees Is linked to credit cards for deposits and withdrawals And … is actually denominated in USD, not BTC.
Circle is positioning itself as sort of a cross between Coinbase and PayPal, more like the latter than the former. Your balance is always maintained in USD, and that is only converted to Bitcoin when it leaves the system. It’s Bitcoin without the volatility and security problems, pure and simple. The USD denomination is key – it is not a real Bitcoin wallet, because you cannot use that to speculate on Bitcoin price – if you deposit $100 worth of bitcoins into Circle, you will always have $100 there, regardless of any fluctuations on the Bitcoin price. I am excited to see their bold vision, and am looking forward to seeing the interplay between it and the Bitcoin ecosystem on the one hand, and the traditional players like PayPal on the other.
If you want to learn more, check out this 9 minute video by their CEO."
It's like they've fully copied Neo&Bee idea. I wonder if they were some of the VCs who visited Cyprus.
As we noted on Sunday, Cyprus-based Neo & Bee has carried out the launch of their first (and flagship) branch in the Engomi suburb of Nicosia.. This bitcoin financial services company is the first of its kind, opening physical bank-like branches to make interacting with the complex digital currency simple. Bitcoin still belongs to a “grey area” in many countries when it comes to regulation and Cyprus is not an exception. However, and still after recent signs of disapproval, an anonymous source from the Central Bank of Cyprus now told the Cyprus Mail that “Bitcoin is not illegal” in the country. According to the sameRead More What's disturbing me the most is people in Cyprus losing faith in bitcoin, after what banks did to them earlier. Cyprus would be such a perfect garden for bitcoin to grow as an effective alternative to banks. But now, having been targeted with Neo & Bee ads daily only to get screwed again ... Cyprus bitcoin company Neo & Bee has ceased operations and its CEO Danny Brewster says he's fled abroad after receiving threats against his family. At least two clients have already filed complaints with the police in Cyprus against the Bitcoin company Neo & Bee. The local authorities are currently investigating the alleged fraud, while the company’s CEO Danny Brewster is still missing. The complaints were filed earlier this week, according to an article published by the Cyprus Mail, which also reveals that the victims paid €20,000 ...
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