Philanthropic Blockchain Angel or an old-fashioned fraud dressed in a new-fashioned label?
Part I in a new investigative series.
According to a recent >>Forbes article<<, there’s a small philanthropically funded team in the U.K. named AgriLedger. As stated by the article, AgriLedger is currently working on blockchain distributed ledger technology to reorient agricultural supply chains, reduce waste and give small farmers in emerging economies a fairer deal. AgriLedger is said to have trials running in some areas in Africa, to see how Blockchain technology can work in a practical setting on the continent. A relatively new and industry changing technology, a blockchain is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers, so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.
On its website, AgriLedger promotes itself as a company that wants to explore the potential role Blockchain technology will play in shaping the future of agriculture for the better. But what about exploring the recent suspicious past of its CEO and Founder Genevieve Leveille? American Scammer has decided to open an investigation into just that question.
Prior to founding AgriLedger, Leveille claimed to have served as head of Overseas Operations for ACCHain and claimed to be the director of its social media team, with all community managers reporting to her.
ACChain and a company named Puyin Coin were two apparent ICO (Initial Coin Offering) scams based in China. Together, the two companies defrauded investors out of more than USD $60 million with some estimates going as high as USD $100 million or more, with the apparent “loss” of investors’ coins. A subsequent investigation by Chinese authorities lead to the arrests of six company executives found to be directly involved in the “lost coin” scam in Shenzhen China in 2018. Most other executives and employees associated with the companies fled and have yet to be located. While this fraud was highly reported during 2018 by the Chinese media as being committed by Puyin, the connection to ACChain wasn’t immediately clear and it didn’t get picked up by media outside of China.
According to cached Google versions of the ACChain website, Leveille and her partner Serena Yin, took control ACChain in January 2018 around the time the original management fled but prior to the arrests in China. When questioned at the time, Genevieve Leveille and Serena Yin claimed they were brought in to lead the global development strategy. In particular they claimed “From January 2018 the business started formally restructuring”, and that “ACChain was working with a reduced team when a cyber-attack took place in April 2018.”
While our investigation showed that several ACChain coin owners on the messenger app Telegram did report missing coins, most stated that they did not receive an explanation from the company and that their questions were censored or deleted. An inquiry into the manner in which the way coins were taken under Leveille’s leadership clearly pointed to an inside job via someone with access to ACChain wallet keys. This would lead one to believe that it was either the original management team returning to raid the coffers, or as some of the investors we interviewed under anonymity stated – possibly even Leveille and/or Yin themselves. Regardless, Leveille’s statement that ACChain was subject to a critical cyber-attack as the rational for the millions of dollars of missing coins was not submitted to the public or investors in April 2018 when it supposedly occurred, so if it actually did occur, the company’s management team (lead by Leveille) covered it up for at least 3 months, leaving their investors exposed.
Subsequent to the shuttering of ACChain, Leveille also claimed on Telegram to be the director of ACChain Technology International Services, a company recently incorporated in the tax haven of Jersey UK. The creation of this Jersey entity coincides with the aforementioned arrests and investigation by police of Nanshan, Shenzhen into ACChain and Puyin Blockchain Group. Currently, our sources have told us that a joint UK/Chinese investigation is underway to determine if the Jersey company was created specifically to move the assets of ACChain out of the reach of Chinese authorities.
Leveille has since set up at least three new companies in the UK, including AgriLedger. Our research has also turned up a number of additional corporate entities she has established, including entities located in Switzerland and Hong Kong. These new companies were all organized around the same time China police were investigating and making arrests in the ACChain and Puyin Coin ICO scams.
While we have yet to unearth the “smoking gun” directly linking
Leveille to the ACCHain theft, serious criminal activity including money laundering and tax evasion are seemingly orbiting very close to Leveille. Close enough that we feel it warrants a deeper investigation on multiple fronts in multiple countries.
We will continue to investigate Leveille’s past with ACChain and whether or not her latest efforts with AgriLedger represent an effort to ‘turn over a new blockchain leaf’ or whether the company is an ‘old-fashioned fraud dressed in a new-fashioned label.’