Cryptocurrency lending platform Nexo has hit back at what it called “fake news” and rumors that its founders were part of a charity embezzlement scandal, saying the claims are untrue and defamatory. It has issued a public cease and desist notice to the originator of the allegations.
In a blog post about the claims, Nexo stated:
“Several anonymous Twitter accounts are using lies and distortion in yet another smear campaign against Nexo and profiting from short positions in a distressed market.”
The pseudonymous Twitter account otteroooo, who call themselves “Otter,” posted a series of tweets on Saturday claiming that Nexo’s co-founders had stolen funds from the Bulgarian charity HelpKarma to buy real estate and fund “lavish personal travel.”
NEXO FOUNDER & FAMILY SIPHONED FUNDS FROM CHARITY FOR SICK KIDS, USED DONATIONS AS PERSONAL SLUSH FUND, EVEN BUILT A PALACE FOR THEMSELVES— otteroooo (@otteroooo) June 26, 2022
Evidences presented in full by otter below
The thread garnered a large audience on Twitter, with Otter sharing a screenshot showing that it had received over 9 million impressions, prompting Nexo to call their statements “ludicrous allegations” and issue the cease and desist notice.
The central allegation Otter makes is that the founder of HelpKarma and co-founder of Nexo "Konsta Kanchev" used funds from donations to help build a palace instead of using the money for children's medical treatments.
Konsta Kanchev (Bulgarian Boy 1) embezzled the funds and went on to build a muthaf*ckin PALACE, "the size of a high school"— otteroooo (@otteroooo) June 26, 2022
The money came from the donations of more than 130,000 Bulgarians who readily donated into what they thought was meant for medical treatment for children pic.twitter.com/NCd7TLbF4A
A response by Nexo points out that a “Konsta Kanchev” doesn’t exist and Otter deliberately made the name “to mimic a typo as an excuse to fact-checkers” by confusing two separate people, HelpKarma founder Constantine Krastev and Nexo co-founder Kosta Kantchev, as the same person.
Speaking to Cointelegraph regarding the conflation of the two, Otter shared a delisted article from the Bulgarian outlet Fakti saying the two are cousins and that Constantine in Bulgarian is spelled “Konstantin” but has not provided further commentary since.
Another major allegation Otter makes is that as HelpKarma's donations increased, payday loans company Credissimo started to report considerable increases in its capital, citing a November 2020 report by Fakti, implying that the donations were used to fund Credissimo.
On how this scandal links to Nexo, Otter points out that Nexo's white paper says it's "powered by Credissimo." Credissimo was founded by Kantchev, and Nexo co-founders Georgi Shulev and Antoni Trenchev were the companies' business development and innovation officers, respectively.
In response to the claims, Nexo said that it and HelpKarma “have not and never had any common operations, common beneficial owners or common management,” adding:
“‘Why would a company with hundreds of millions in revenues and billions of assets under management, vetted by Fidelity, Mastercard and dozens of regulators ever have to resort to petty theft, let alone from children with medical needs? is the logical yet neglected question.”
Cointelegraph contacted Nexo for comment on the allegations and has yet to receive a response.
Nexo states that Otter's mainmotive for posting the allegations was to gain a large following and sell the account.
Nexo shared images of an individual attempting to purchase Otter's account, along with Otter's price of a minimum of $50,000 USD Coin (USDC).
But in a Twitter thread posted by Otter on Sunday, they claim they suspected the messages to be a “set up” to buy the account so that Nexo could silence them. They instead “hatched a troll plan” to sell the Otter account to collect Nexo’s “silence money” and make another account to “continue exposing them.”
Nexo says this isn’t the first time they’ve been part of what they call a “coordinated attack,” citing the 2020 accusations that it was behind Zeus Capital, an asset management firm that wanted to short Chainlink (LINK).