An Australian crypto-currency celebrity is being pursued in court for almost half a million dollars by an investor who alleges he has received no goods or services in return.
- Nugget’s News CEO Alex Saunders is accused of not being able to repay money
- The crypto influencer has allegedly told friends he is on repayment plans
- Several tech companies have distanced themselves from Mr Saunders
New Zealand investor Ziv Himmelfarb has launched legal action against Nugget’s News founder Alex Saunders, seeking $479,270.16 in losses and damages for money he allegedly loaned him and invested in a yet-to-be realised cryptocurrency project.
The Launceston-based Mr Saunders has not responded to the ABC over claims he owes followers money, which have been made on social media.
Mr Saunders is an ex-pharmacist who runs a digital media channel that “delivers unfiltered coverage of the latest developments in cryptocurrency, housing, precious metals, commodities, stocks and other financial markets”.
In the statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria by Mr Himmelfarb, he alleges that Alex Saunders contacted him via a Facebook message in February and offered him an interest in a “long/short crypto fund”.
Mr Himmelfarb alleges that he transferred 4 bitcoins to Mr Saunders, which at the time were valued at $269,682.14.
In April, Mr Saunders allegedly asked Mr Himmelfarb to invest in a “DCB Project” and was transferred the equivalent of $65,282.67 of US Dollar Coins, which is a digital currency.
It Is alleged Mr Saunders provided no goods or services to Mr Himmelfarb for the digital currencies transferred, nor has he returned the money despite requests to do so.
Mr Himmelfarb alleges he asked to void the contracts in July and demanded Mr Saunders return the bitcoins in August.
“Wrongfully, the Defendant has failed and/or refused to transfer to the Plaintiff the Bitcoins and the USD Coins,” the writ lodged in the commercial division of the Supreme Court states.
Mr Himmelfarb further alleges he also transferred Mr Saunders 30 ETH coins in May by way of a loan, with the equivalent value of $144,305.35.
“Wrongfully, in breach of the terms of the ETH Coins Loan, the Defendant has failed and/or refused to transfer to the Plaintiff the ETH coins,” the document states.
The $479,270.16 in loss and damages Mr Himmelfarb is seeking from Mr Saunders includes the monetary value of the Bitcoins, USD Coins and ETH coins, as well as interest and costs.
Mr Saunders is yet to file a defence to the claims made by Mr Himmelfarb and has been contacted by the ABC for comment.