In a report published in today’s Cyprus Mail, police in Nicosia have launched a fraud investigation targeted at Neo & Bee following the sudden and dramatic collapse of the “bitcoin bank.”
Two persons have filed complaints to the police alleging they paid the company cash, but have not received bitcoins in exchange. The complaints were filed four or five days ago, a police spokesman said. … The amounts concerned are €20,000 and €15,000.
The investigation coincides with the apparent closure of Neo & Bee. According to reports, Neo & Bee’s entire staff quit earlier this week after the company failed to pay them their March wages. The company’s head office in Nicosia has also been closed for several days.
The exact nature of the alleged fraud is unclear, but officials are looking to speak with CEO Danny Brewster about the claims. Earlier this week, Brewster broke his two-week long silence about Neo & Bee, explaining that the startup had “run out of liquidity” and that he had “temporarily” left Cyprus due to threats of violence against his daughter. Police officials have since said that no complaints have been filed by Brewster about such threats.
Neo & Bee was one of the highest profile bitcoin-based startups in Europe, running major media ad campaigns in Cyprus until only a few days ago. The company’s main office opened to huge fanfare in February, but rumors of financial troubles soon surfaced as the price of bitcoin plummeted following the collapse of Mt.Gox and rumors of a bitcoin ban in China.