Lawyers for missing brothers fired from Bitcoin case in South Africa

(Bloomberg) – Lawyers for the Cajee brothers, who run a South African cryptocurrency investment platform that regulators suspect is a Ponzi scheme, said their tenure to help them was terminated.

The lawyers’ statement on Monday came just two days after their first public defense of the brothers accused of missing with around $ 3.6 billion in Bitcoin from their Africrypt investment platform.

“Our tenure to help the Cajee brothers has been terminated,” John Oosthuizen, a Johannesburg-based lawyer, said in an email, when asked to comment on the brother’s fate. “I look forward to reading your report on the Africrypt saga further.”

The brothers have not been seen since announcing to their investors in April that the platform had been hacked. Their location is still unknown.

Oosthuizen previously said Raees and his older brother Ameer Cajee denied running away with the funds. They never informed the police about the hack, but promised they would cooperate with future investigations, he said.

Raees’ cell phone that was momentarily turned on Sunday night was again unreachable at the time of writing.

He told Dow Jones on Monday that only about $ 5 million was missing, a fraction of what is reported, and that the brothers had “very dangerous people” as clients who “were starting to slip through the cracks.”

“This entity was offering unusually high and unrealistic returns, similar to those offered by illegal investment programs commonly known as Ponzi’s,” the Financial Sector Conduct Authority said last week. “The public is urged to understand that unrealistically high returns suggest that the investment program is likely to be fraudulent.”

Local news site MoneyWeb reported that this was the second hack claimed by the Cajee brothers. In a letter to clients in May 2019, the brothers said that another investment platform they operated was also hacked and emptied of all Bitcoin, which they attributed at the time to a breach of their biggest trading partner, Binance.

(Updates with additional information reported by Dow Jones and MoneyWeb from the seventh paragraph.)

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