All Hell Breaks Loose, This Avalanche Project Main Dev Was Behind A Ponzi Scheme?

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The Avalanche community has seen its fair share of drama in the past days as Wonderland (TIME) hit a new price low. Data from CoinGecko indicates that the token has lost over 90% of its value since November 2021.

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The Avalanche token was priced close to $10,000 and has been on a downtrend since that period reaching $406, as of press time. TIME has been one of the worst performers in the DeFi sector and could see further losses in the short term.

TIME on a downtrend since November 2021. Source: Coingecko

According to a pseudonym investigator, Wonderland’s CFO known as OxSifu is the co-founder of QuadrigaCX, a former Canadian-based crypto exchange, Michael Patryn. This platform collapsed in 2019 shortly after its founder Gerald Cotten runaway with over $169 million.

Per a report published by the Ontario Securities Commission, QuadrigaCX was created from “fraud”. The crypto exchange and its founder promised their clients that their assets will be safe. However, the Canadian authorities discovered that “Cotten spent, traded, and used those assets at will”.

The pseudonym investigator decided to reveal the information related to Sifu due to TIME’s recent price action, and its implication for the inventors on the Avalanche project. He said the following via Twitter after sharing screenshots of a conversation with the founder of Wonderland, Daniele Sestagalli:

I never would have expected this but cannot sit on it any longer especially after the events experienced earlier this week with TIME.

In addition to the crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, Patryn was allegedly tied to an “identity theft ring” known as “Shadowcrew”. According to the investigator Patryn “plead guilty” to his ties with this illegal group.

In their report, the Canadian authorities are unable to establish a connection between Patryn and the fraudulent behavior displayed by its founder. The OSC claims Patryn was involved with the QuadrigaCX until 2016, after that:

Patryn ceased to be associated with Quadriga after 2016 and that the majority of client funds were deposited with Quadriga after Patryn’s departure. Based on the evidence we reviewed, Quadriga did not maintain proper accounting records from 2016 onward.

Avalanche Project CFO, An Old Time Fraudster?

Despite this report, Tay Vano CEO at crypto managing service MyCrypto shared the results of an investigation, conducted by independent reporter Amy Castor, that ties Patryn to the failed crypto exchange, and other Ponzi schemes. In 2019, according to images shared via her Twitter account, the Avalanche project CFO made ETH transactions that could directly link him to Quadriga.

Quadriga ties back to Sifu.eth

— zachxbt.eth (@zachxbt) January 27, 2022

Patryn’s record of alleged fraudulent activities has been tracked back to Midas Gold, an exchange that operated between 2008 and 2013 until it was shut down, BlackHatWorld and TalkGold. The latter operated in 2003 as a forum to “push high yield investment programs” or Ponzi schemes.

Moreover, the same investigation suggests Michael Patryn changed his name from Omar Dhanani until he met Cotton. Patryn apparently was released from a U.S. federal prison back in 2007 after serving an 18-month sentence related to his involvement with “Shadowcrew”.

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Due to this long history of fraud, and illicit schemes involvement, some believe the founder of Wonderland has put his “reputation on the line”. Sestagalli shared a vote to remove Sifu/Patryn from his position as Wonderland’s treasury manager after sharing a long statement on recent events. Daniele said:

I found out about this 1 month ago, I am of the opinion of giving second chances (…). I have learned to give trust to people and to make my own opinions about them rather than just listen to the noise (…). I hope the community now comes together and decides what the future looks like and who they want managing their money.

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