Mt. Gox's website, on Feb 26, posted a statement showing that the company had gone offline. Bloomberg News
Defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has given up its plan to rebuild under bankruptcy protection and has asked a Tokyo court to allow it to be liquidated, people familiar with the situation said.
These people cited as reasons the complexity of the procedure—including the difficulty of holding meetings with creditors spread around the world—as well as the lack of realistic rehabilitation plans for the Tokyo-based exchange.
Mt. Gox, at one point the world's busiest bitcoin exchange, collapsed in February and said as it filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo on Feb. 28 that it had lost 850,000 bitcoin worth around half a billion dollars. Since then, about 200,000 bitcoin have been recovered and are part of the exchange's assets.
For creditors in bankruptcy cases, a switch to liquidation usually means they will recoup less of their investment. But one person close to Mt. Gox said there was still hope a buyer for the exchange could be found, an outcome that could mean creditors receive part of any future earnings.
If the request is approved by the court, a trustee will be appointed, who will take over management of the company's assets from its chief executive officer, Mark Karpelès.
Mt. Gox lawyers weren't reachable for a comment, while a Tokyo District Court spokeswoman said she couldn't comment on an individual case.
The Tokyo filing to liquidate comes after the company's lawyers on Monday told a U.S. federal judge that Mr. Karpelès wouldn't appear in a U.S. court on Thursday to answer questions about the exchange's U.S. bankruptcy case.
Mt. Gox has blamed the loss of the bitcoin on a bug in the bitcoin software which left it open to hacking. It had also filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in Texas to stop customers who sued it in Illinois from targeting its U.S. bank accounts.
In documents filed at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas on Monday, Mr. Karpelès's lawyers said he recently received a subpoena to appear on Friday before the U.S. Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, an anti-money-laundering division. The division is closely watching virtual currencies like bitcoin and issued guidance on them about a year ago.
Mr. Karpelès's lawyers said the subpoena from Treasury officials "did not specify topics for discussion," but said, "until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to 'get up to speed' and advise Mr. Karpelès [on the Treasury subpoena], he is not willing to travel to the U.S."
A Treasury spokesman declined to comment.
Last year, special agents from the Department of Homeland Security seized more than $5.1 million from accounts belonging to Mt. Gox under a federal money laundering statute. In response, Mt. Gox took out a money-transfer business license in the U.S. in July.
Mr. Karpelès hasn't been charged with a crime, but one person close to the matter said Mt. Gox lawyers had feared Mr. Karpeles would be detained if he went to the U.S. either in connection with fraud allegations in Mt. Gox's collapse or an investigation over the exchange's possible links to online market place Silk Road, currently under federal investigation over money-laundering allegations.
A DHS report in November said Mt. Gox "was moving approximately $60 million a month into a number of Internet-based hidden black markets operating on the Tor network, including Silk Road."
People close to Mt. Gox said the exchange had tried to identify and kick out potential Silk Road users among its customers.
There are signs the Department of Homeland Security's interest in Mt. Gox continues. The DHS is still holding the seized funds, Mr. Karpelès said in a deposition to the Texas court on March 10.
An email exchange seen by The Wall Street Journal indicated that an investigator from the Department of Homeland Security was looking for ways to contact a former Mt. Gox employee in Japan in March. A U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman said on Monday there are no ongoing discussions between the department and Mt. Gox.

Neo & Bee CEO Brewster tries to prove 

innocence in public letter

Posted 19 hours ago 

Danny Brewster made a Reddit post about current affairs
Neo & Bee CEO Danny Brewster came forward on Reddit about the Neo & Bee case. He explains the fraud claims and thinks the police may be trying to set him up.
Neo & Bee, another Bitcoin story making headlines. As if Mt. Gox was not enough… The Cypriot police are hunting CEO Danny Brewster, suspecting him of fraud. Meanwhile, Brewster is still in the United Kingdom, trying to get his business on the rails again. Because previous events showed that a long silence never did any good to a business in trouble, Brewster popped up on Reddit today. He explains his version of current events.

Much against everyone’s advice

Although he received advice not to go public with his thoughts, he thought it was necessary to post something. That is something we can all agree with. Too many people are involved with Neo & Bee and remaining silent hurts the whole Bitcoin community. Brewster starts off with the fraud charges, stating he is baffled by them.
“I sold several people bitcoins for cash, most of which had them sent directly to their own wallets or exchange accounts prior to Neo and Bee becoming open to the public. There were four people, however, that requested me to hold them until they provided me with an address to send them to. Two people that bought on November 20th, 2013, One Person that bought from me twice once on the 2nd December 2013 and the 20th December 2013 and one person who bought from me on the 24th December 2013. There was a fifth person I was holding Bitcoin for, however, following a change in their personal circumstances I bought the bitcoins back from them.
Sorry to disappoint those that believe the tales that I simply took them…. The keys are still stored on paper. The total sales to these four people amount to 75.29270138 BTC that were purchased for a combined total of €35213.57, so I have no idea where the values reported in the media have been derived from.”
My parents taught me a story always has two sides. Hearing Danny Brewster’s version confirms that lesson. Nobody knows which side is telling the truth here, but Brewster decided to come out in the open with this. I can imagine his lawyers told him not to do so and still, he did. Anyway you look at it; that deserves some credit.

“I have not received one single request from the individuals who bought the bitcoins from me to send the coins to an address they provided. With one exception a request was made but that was received from the individual that introduced one of the buyers to me, they requested for me to transfer the coins to his Bitstamp account. I didn’t send the coins to his address as he was not the person that I had the agreement with. One of these people went directly to the police following rumors that I had fled the country.”

Fraud or set-up?

The police went public with this whole case, saying they are investigating fraud and want to arrest Danny Brewster. Brewster never made a secret of his whereabouts so they must be aware of the fact that he is in the United Kingdom. Brewster claims he has contacted the police forces several times regarding this. He wants to clear things up but, according to the CEO, the Cypriot police never answers any of his attempts to contact them. He points that out rather bluntly in his post.
“Here is a message to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Cypriot Police:
I have been trying for days to contact them to resolve this situation. The whole thing could be cleared up in a matter of days, because as of right now their case is based on rumors of me fleeing Cyprus, which is complete garbage. I still have a house full of my own belongings, assets, family, friends and most importantly my daughter in Cyprus.”
Brewster goes on about providing his contact information to the police and any third parties involved. He even says he contacted the reporter from Cyprus Mail who initially made the first newspaper headline about Neo & Bee. Strange, as a journalist myself, I would assume be thrilled receiving a direct e-mail from Danny Brewster himself. Publishing the police’s words is one thing. Going public with an interview of the bad guy himself, that’s where the real story lies. The journalist, however, never responded to Brewster’s e-mails. If that is true, Brewster’s ideas about him being set-up might not be so far-fetched.

“I have provided my contact information via email to the police and to third parties such as the reporter from the Cyprus Mail and one of the people who bought bitcoins from me. If they do not contact me to arrange a solution, then I assume my greatest fears are true that they are doing nothing more than trying to set me up on charges to discredit both myself and Bitcoin as a whole, whilst creating more fear about challenging the status-quo.”
The whole world knows that the Greek police force is not always as ‘honest’ as a police force ought to be. The Neo & Bee case is a strange one, and it is hard to believe every word Danny Brewster has to say on this. His employees still came out with their wages left unpaid. The Cyprus office is abandoned, and the details of Neo & Bee’s problems are still covered in shades. Some people were wondering why Brewster was still in the United Kingdom.
“There are three reasons for me not returning to Cyprus immediately following the issuance of a warrant and those are;
  1. I have a family funeral to attend.
  2. The whole situation can be resolved without me doing so.
  3. The manner in which the investigations are being carried out are concerning; the police have not made an attempt to contact me despite numerous personal requests for them to do so.”

Neo & Bee?

  • “To clear a few things up surrounding Neo & Bee. Yes, there are creditors to the business, and I have not run with any coins, we had made payments in excess of €1.4m with many of the coins being converted to Euros before the run up in price; the largest amount converted at once was the day Silkroad was busted. I had to take a decision on that given day to convert them or risk them becoming pretty worthless and the business not getting off the ground. The outstanding funds from BitFunder/WeExchange are valued at this moment around €500,000. The coins of my own I have on MtGox would have covered all creditors with a claim against the business in full. Had I wanted to run off with coins, it would have been better to do so before spending all of them and the remainder of my own coins on the business.”
    Not much news to be gathered here. It seems more like proof that Brewster had better options if he wanted to steal money. I think we can all agree he did not want to steal any funds for his own; there would have been other things to do besides running to the United Kingdom if that were the case.
    Brewster finishes his post with a question to the Cypriot police:
    “If I buy some building supplies and agree to provide a delivery address at a later date, but never do provide an address. Has the seller committed fraud if he still holds the supplies for me?”
    Legit question, indeed. The story still does not fit… Whether Brewster is lying or the Cypriot police are trying to frame him for something he is not guilty of, the fact of the matter is that this still hurts Bitcoin. How can the cryptocurrency be taken seriously when stuff like this happens on a regular basis. Many people had faith in Neo & Bee’s future. The way it looks now, it seems their faith was misplaced. I sincerely hope Brewster can work things out, so no one loses too much money over this. As said in previous posts, CCN will keep track of this story.