The Death Agony of Envion — the World’s largest illegal Crypto-Mining ICO (reloaded)
From Hero to Zero in 365 days
>>> this story was first published on 31st of March 2019 and reposted on 2019-Sept-21st <<<
The failed Envion ICO of 2018 is still a hot topic in the crypto world. After a year of slow-moving progress, authorities are still investigating, the liquidator in Switzerland is prepared to make the call and investors are still seeking justice in civil lawsuits. However, with the mountains of evidence piling up (lawsuits, criminal investigations, bankruptcy filings, and the official FINMA investigation) it becomes undeniable that the players involved did not just merely mistakes. No, they are guilty to the core of intentionally running a deception campaign.
What happened? ICO ruled illegal and Envion being liquidated
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) initiated an investigation due to illegal business procedures of the company during the ICO (not because of the share dilution by CEO Matthias Woestmann). FINMA declared the Envion ICO was illegal. Read the report here.
In parallel, he bankruptcy office in Zug ordered a liquidation of Envion; and civil lawsuits are forcing Trado and Envion to explain many things. The first oral hearings are announced for beginning of September 2019 and are expected to reveal many new details. Criminal investigations are also still in progress.
These are facts and cannot be denied. They indicate that Laurent Martin (communications director) and Michael Luckow (the self proclaimed “de facto executive director”) had built the Envion business on a house of lies. The founders have gone through a year of ignorant bliss, even after investors started exposing the truth. However, they are not done yet. The general public deserves a response from all the acting bodies: liquidator, former CEO Woestmann, Michael Luckow (Trado), other founders, and law firm DWF.
Below are 10 of issues and questions still waiting to be answered.
- FINMA: the ICO is illegal
The investigation, which began back in July 2018 is now officially closed (March 2019). FINMA declared the ICO of Envion as illegal. The authority was investigating illegal activity business practices of the company. Their official statement leaves no room for interpretation. Regardless, official communication by Trado denies any wrongdoing and disagrees with certain parts of the report. With this report complete, it is hoped that the bankruptcy court can proceed with the return of the ICO funds as fast as possible to the investors!
Speaking about money. The whitepaper clearly stated: Pre-sale funds will cover all business and administrative costs for the ICO period. What additional costs occurred that needed to be billed to Envion by Trado? Has all money paid to Trado been transferred to the liquidator’s account? What excuse can be made for withholding funds and not exchanging crypto to FIAT in proper amount of time? What is happening to the millions of investors’ funds held hostage by Trado?
3. Lawsuits / Lawfirm DWF
DWF’s, the ICO’s main law firm, response to the civil lawsuit indictments is in direct contradiction to the communications made Envion in the social media channels and also to legal opinions that have been reached by outside entities. DWF also remains quiet about any involvement in the legal matters, although their collaboration with Trado on this is a proven fact. The subscription agreement, as an example, was revised, changed and approved by DWF. Perhaps Nathalie Eichler (DWF) and Nina Siedler (DWF) are not so proud of their work anymore and wish to distance themselves from this disaster? Did they know about and approve Trado’s insider trading as Michael Luckow claimed?
“The lawyer’s truth is not Truth, but consistency or a consistent expediency”
4. The Founders (and other Players)
Many of Michael Luckow’s friends and associates tried to cover their exposure by minimizing their relation to him, both before and after the ICO. They didn’t want to have any potential tie-in to Envion. Something was fishy from the beginning, and it would be helpful to investors if these people would come forward and speak out. The list of names is long. Hopefully, these people will come forward before their names get published in future
articles. First, it is time to fully expose all 4 members of the founding team. Those are: Michael Luckow, Felix Krusenbaum, Jasper Hellmann and his brother Dr. J. Hellmann. The big question here is: Why was this never made public? What is the reason, one cannot be proud of being mentioned in a USD 100m business?
You can’t expect loyalty from people who would do anything for money
5. Ongoing misleading Communication
Trado and Laurent must stop the lies and misleading communication. Laurent has a habit of denying the facts by twisting new stories. He cherry picks comments from the FINMA report to support the stance of the founders, despite the official findings showing the business practices violated supervisory law. When the FINMA investigation began, Laurent claimed to trust it fully. And now he doesn’t agree with their findings? This is an indication of a distorted reality, and it shows the founders never had the interests of their investors in mind. It is obvious that founders wanted their piece of the pie and were actively torpedoing initiatives or people working in the investors’ interest (e.g. law firm CLLB, efri.io, etc).
6. Founders contest Liquidation Ruling
“We fight against the liquidation”, is what founders claimed to do. But how can they? According to the official announcement by the Swiss authorities, “The appeal period has now expired unused and the decision is therefore final.” How exactly will they fight? Any legal means they had to reverse or change the ruling are gone. The only option is to liquidate Envion as required by the court; everything else is empty marketing slogans.
7. Liquidation Rights
After the FINMA declaration that the Envion ICO was illegal, on what basis should founders be considered as token holders in regards to the liquidation? They have done nothing to ensure the successful operation of Envion as a legally operating company. They are the one who are responsible for the failure, so is it right for them to get a share of the liquidated assets?
8. The Mining Containers (MMU)
Why have the MMUs been outsourced to a new company named invergy? invergy.org had been shut down after being online a few weeks, but a backup can be found here. Who legally owns the MMU’s? Fact check: only 2 MMUs have ever been built, more unfinished shells are in the Czech Rep.
9. Token Issues
The Envion Dashboard has been inoperative for months? Why? Trado was told to reinstate the Dashboard so investors could access their property. Obviously it was again about the money, that was demanded by Trado to do the job (but this was rejected by the liquidator). And why there are unresolved token issues at all (i.e. no tokens, locked tokens, no PIN)? FINMA had the same questions, and hopefully, answers will be found in the report. Another unanswered question — the excessive token. This accusation was never rejected by the German court, and Trado has not been able to invalidate the claims surrounding the excessive tokens issue. Investors need to see independently audited ICO / token audits.
10. The Smart Contract
Lastly, the mysterious smart contract changes. An unsolved detail only Trado can answer: Who changed the smart contract after the audit and why? Nikita Fuchs denied making the change. Michael Luckow claims he has no idea who made the change. Yet, they are the only two that had access to the source files. Both obviously know more than they want to admit. This issue is key to the question of criminal intent and is the foundation of any token movement and selling (aka insider trading).
An announcement from the liquidator and the Cantonal Court of Zug is expected to happen soon. The 1st court date on the civil lawsuit cases against Trado GmbH will take place on 27th of September 2019 in Berlin. We will update you on the situation once we receive news from them. For more updates and information, join us on Twitter or enter the Telegram channel of 1000+ investors.
We would like to hear from any of the persons mentioned in this article. We know it takes courage to speak out, but all of you are in debt to the 37.000 investors who demand and deserve the truth.
in an earlier version, we covered most of the issues. The article later has been shut down by medium due to a “take-down notice”. Both, the reason and the initiator remains unknown. The story was reuploaded on 2019-Sept-21st