A man who thought he had been behind an alleged Bitcoin plan, Ponzi, plundered his house in South Africa and had it put in the ground, reports Times Live. Sphelele "Sgumza" Mbatha was reportedly the operator of "Bitcoin Wallets", a scheme that promised investors a 100 percent return on their investment after 15 days.
The arson came a week after Mbatha had admitted to the Ladysmith Gazette that he no longer had cash to pay out, and said investors had to submit their details online to receive their payouts. He also claimed not to be the owner of the company, despite the fact that he had registered "Bitcoin Wallets Achievers" the previous week. The following week, he said hackers had infiltrated the website and stolen investors' money, according to Times Live.
The arson came after angry crowds had previously gathered outside the Bitcoin Wallets headquarters and the local police station. Mbatha was said to be offered help by the authorities to relocate the business on condition that he prepared a business plan to prove it was legitimate. However, the documents were not produced from last week. A spokesman for the National Credit Regulator of South Africa had earlier heightened doubts about the official documentation of the company.
As recently as a month ago, Bitcoin Wallets claimed to include as much as R2 million (about $ 143,000) per day, according to a report in The citizen. On at least one occasion, the company saw 200 people standing in line outside the offices waiting to invest, and it is said to have increased its minimum investment to R5,000 (about $ 357).
This would not be the first time that we have seen the hype about Bitcoin that has attracted unsuspecting investors. In 2012, Trendon Shavers abruptly closed Bitcoin Savings & Trust after collecting $ 4.5 million in Bitcoin. He later pleaded guilty to operating a Ponzi plan. Although Shavers accepted investments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Wallets seems to accept cash and it is unclear whether one of these portfolios has actually been converted into the cryptocurrency.
Mbatha & # 39; s whereabouts are reportedly currently unknown. One source quoted by Times Live said he thought he had fled the city.