In a report published today by the Cyprus Mail, Cyprus police have issued an arrest warrant for Neo & Bee CEO Danny Brewster. The report claims that Brewster is named as a “a person of interest in an ongoing investigation” in the fraud investigation, but it’s not clear if he is the primary suspect in the case.
Self-proclaimed “bitcoin bank” Neo opened their offices in Nicosia in February, grabbing major media attention in financially fragile Cyprus. The opening coincided with the closure of Mt.Gox, prompting Neo to indefinitely halt commercial services until the price of bitcoin stabilized. Less than a month later, news began to leak that Brewster had left Cyprus with several massive debts behind him, and was not communicating with his staff in Cyprus.
In late March, the company’s trading account on bitcoin stock exchange Havelock Investments was suspended due to “abnormal activity,” further raising investor concerns. Brewster posted a strange, confession-like post on the popular BitcoinTalk forum later that week, citing threats made against his daughter as his reason for fleeing Cyprus. Police in Cyprus later stated that Brewster had never filed a complaint about such threats.
Earlier this month, Neo closed its offices in Cyprus. Staff did not receive their March paychecks, and reports surfaced that the company owed as much as $500,000 to various creditors. Additionally, two people filed police reports that Neo representatives took cash payments of €20,000 and €15,000 to buy bitcoin for customers, but never completed the transaction.
It’s unclear what specific charges apply to the arrest warrant. Brewster’s location is currently unknown, although it is widely suspected that he is back in the U.K. Cyprus police said that they may also issue a European warrant for Brewster.