Friday , December 3 2021

Return of Boaz Manor: Co-founder of failed hedge fund Portus shows up at US blockchain start under new identity


A former Canadian Hedge Fund chief whose high profile fall culminated in a four-year imprisonment is once again at the heart of a controversy after being taken under a new identity at a New York-based blockchain boot.

People working at the Blockchain Terminal (BCT Inc.) and a related company, CG Blockchain, told the Financial Post that their reactions ranged from "frightened" to "embarrassed" when they realized the red-haired bearded man whom they knew as Shaun MacDonald, As they described as a key player in the company, Boaz Manor, co-founder of Toronto-based Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc., was a $ 730 million hedge fund that collapsed in 2005 during a dusk of claims on offshore accounts, diamonds and lacking money .

The manor had brighter hair and was shaved when Ontario Securities Regulators banned him from the province's capital markets in August 2012. He was already on the day police when convicted last year.

In interviews with Financial Post this week, two people working at the new companies mansion were associated with – who developed and marketed a hedge fund and other institutional merchant terminal to trade cyptocurrency and blockchain compliance systems – said they left after read Manor Manor's true identity, and raised concerns about its earlier brushes with the law and supervisory authorities of the US authorities.

"None of us knew his true identity. We knew him as Shaun MacDonald," said Daniel Araya, who said he left the blockchain start in September after doing the government's political work there. "When we found out that it was not his real name, it was not his true identity, we ended more or less."

Araya said that he and a small group of CG Blockchain workers, mainly in Hong Kong, began to shed more information about MacDonald, the man they regarded as their boss, following reports from the New York office like Bob Bonomo, a technology and wealth management veteran introduced and billed as president or chief executive officer did not enter the office.

Araya, identified as vice president of government policy in corporate presentations, also said that the workers did not get their full wages, despite the fact that the company had raised about $ 31 million in a first currency offer in the spring.

While information about Shaun MacDonald was barely, the former employees made a "triangulation" of information they knew about the man they perceived as their boss – like saying he was Canadian and had spoken Hebrew at the office when Israeli visitors were there – which led to pictures on Manor, including on a Facebook page.

"We did our own survey and we came across Boaz's pictures online," said Araya, who is Canadian but spoke to the post by phone from Illinois. "He's thinner, he looks a bit more aristocratic, but it's the same guy as Shaun MacDonald."

None of us knew his true identity. We knew him as Shaun MacDonald

Daniel Araya, Entrepreneur who worked at CG Blockchain

Herrgård did not respond to messages sent by post at his mother's home in Toronto and on his Facebook page, and Posten could not contact him through any other company.

On Wednesday, however, he appeared in a YouTube video to deal with an article that was shown this week on website, which was the first published report to reveal that he used the name Shaun MacDonald.

The article also cited anonymous sources that suggested MacDonald / Manor led the blockchain companies and questioned the terminal's vitality.

In the Youtube video, a renowned mansion was characterized as a consultant who had made a certain product design for BCT. As for the name he used, the manor replied that he believes that people are entitled to a degree of integrity.

"People do not have to reveal any kind of embarrassing or painful situations they have encountered before, as long as it does not relate to their current job," he said on the video. "I am in a profession at the moment as a product designer and as a management consultant in a minor role. Product design is my main focus – it does not require me to talk about my past."

Manor said he spoke because he did not want the company he did the job to get hurt by things he had been involved in many years ago.

"I usually go under the name Shaun MacDonald these days, and if anyone needs to know that my name is Boaz Manor, I'll reveal it," said Manor. "In this case, I work in a role that did not require it."

Bonomo said by a spokesman that he did not learn MacDonald's "true identity" until about two months after he stopped working for CG Blockchain, where he had come as an entrepreneur.

He also said that while he was "directed" to use the title as president externally, he was not a key decision maker.

"The president's title was only in the name …. I had no exposure to and no decision-making authority for the management of any of the company's finances, internal transactions or staff," Bonomo said in a statement sent by his communications dealer Bill Fallon of Keating Co. in New York. "It was Shaun MacDonald's role all the time for my consulting work, a fact that was widely known."

He said the man he knew as Shaun "made decisions by Edith Pardo, Asif Hamid and himself."

Pardo, named on documents associated with coin supply, said in an email that she is the founder and director of BCT and CG Blockchain. She said she was aware of the pastoral history of the mansion and said that it actually "helped" in the development of the company's compliance product.

"Because Herr Manor had first and foremost experienced the absolute destruction that could be done in any financial company by just being charged, his background contributed to making ComplianceGuard a product that could help companies prevent such situations," she wrote.

… his background helped make ComplianceGuard a product that could help companies prevent such situations

Edith Pardo, Founder, BCT and CG Blockchain

Pardo, who is also CEO of New York-based communications company Estey-Hoover, said Manor was a consultant for CG Blockchain and never employed, officer, director or shareholder in any of the blockchain companies.

As for why people working at the companies thought he was responsible, Pardo said: "In his capacity he had a lot of space to get the most talented team possible and then steer them toward product development …. Manor has a much direct and individual determination, so it is not surprising that some people looked at him as an authority figure, even though he never had any official capacity. "

She acknowledged that some people were not paid for her work at CG Blockchain and BCT.

"It is true that some payments have expired to some entrepreneurs and consultants" in the blockchain boot, Pardo said in the email.

"Unfortunately, this is not an easy cut and drought conversation and there are several aspects to this that we can not discuss for legal reasons."

She said that the company's intention has always been and remains to honor our commitments to our salespeople, contractors, consultants and purchasing customers. "

The blockchain bet lost "significant progress" after Bonomo left in the summer, said Pardo, who characterized his retirement for personal reasons. She added that the start "managed to fight through the tough times" that it met.

"He took us from an unorganized startup that worked out of a one bedroom apartment to a fully operational company in a very short time," said Pardo.

Bonomo said he chose to end his consultation arrangement that had put him on the road for weeks in a row at conferences and events in cyptocurrency in early July, as the company needed to secure additional financing to complete its product development and introduce the product to the market.

"There was no realistic prospectus at the time for me to go to an operational decision-making role, and the company had also been in arrears to pay my consulting fees for the work I had completed," said Bonomo.

The post could not reach Hamid, although a former worker said that he and MacDonald / Manor worked close to each other.

Boaz Manor addressed his use of the name Shaun MacDonald in a video published on YouTube on Wednesday, December 12, 2018.

Crypto Crow / YouTube

In the Youtube video, where the manor was interviewed by a BCT advisor using the moniker Crypto Crow, the manor also took the Portus collapse more than a decade ago. In his opinion, the trigger for this hedge fund collapsed a newspaper article that caused panic among the fund's investors. He said his mistake was limited to trying to continue managing offshore offshore when he left Portus, believing he was outside the regulator's point of view.

Portus had a maximum of $ 730 million under management and 26,000 customers, mostly in Ontario. Investors received most of their money back. But the manor drove further controversies by leaving Israel because the company fell apart.

He returned in 2007, the year he and Portus founder Michael Mendelson were charged by the RCMP with fraud. Both eventually ended up accusations, and the mansion was guilty of breach of trust and violated a court order. Mendelson accused guilty of a single number of fraud and released from prison in 2008 after serving the mandate part of his two-year sentence.

In 2012, Ontario Securities Commission Manor ordered to disgorge $ 8.8 million, part of a negotiated solution related to the alleged purchase of diamonds with Portus money by the mansion. At the OSC Settlement that year, Mr Lawyer said that he had neither diamonds nor money to pay the governor's disgorgement orders.

Araya, the former BCT employee, said he felt "terror as terrified" when he found the pictures on Manor online and joined him to the Portus story, his guilty plea, the imprisonment and the ban on the capital markets Ontario Securities Commission.

"I thought this might be a criminal scam, a fraudulent company," said the 47-year-old blockchain venture.

He says there was no evidence of this, and the technology seemed healthy and attractive to potential customers. But Araya says he reported that Shaun MacDonald was Boaz Manor to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

"We had no evidence, but we were worried and we had the feeling that something could be deceptive because we raised $ 31 million," he explained. "We do not know where the money is. And many of us have not been paid, you know, neither of us have been fully paid."

He says he left his name with authorities, but has not heard back and is very curious about whether the blockchain company will make a kind of it.

"To this day, I do not know. I know Shaun MacDonald does not exist," said Araya, who has a doctorate in public order and went back to other work as a consultant when he left BCT.

… we had the feeling that something could be deceptive as we increased $ 31 million. We do not know where the money is. And many of us have not been … fully paid.

Daniel Araya, Entrepreneur who worked at CG Blockchain

Ryan White, a spokesman for the SEC, declined to comment on the reports that the blockchain company's former workers say they did about MacDonald / Manor.

Al Leong, who worked for BCT and CG Blockchain from Vancouver, said in an interview that he also talked to the US authorities about Boaz Manor after Araya showed him what he had found online.

Leong says he also left the company and is embarrassed that he promoted it without digging "deeper".

He also said he is hopeful that the technology can be successful because the company seemed to spend "tons" of money on it and as far as he knew "it worked".

Pardo said, "BCT is a viable, operational company with a legitimate, viable product," and added that she is "saddened by" rumors and insinuation ", on the contrary, as she said," through social media and incorrect reporting "by competitors.

"When you realize that many of the ICOs who have raised similar amounts to us, if not more, just have a white paper to show to their token buyers, I feel sorry for our team of rumors and insinuation that floats around as we are a bluff, "she said. "We are one of the few companies actually fulfilling our promise to our token buyers and it's something to be very proud of."

Pardo said that "all funds" raised by token sales were used for research and development of the product, running costs and maintaining a comprehensive marketing campaign to create brand identity.

"We are currently in our 10thth month of development and delivering a functional trading tool that can revolutionize the market for kryptocurrency, "she said." That type of performance takes serious costs in both money and labor. "

– with files from Jake Edmiston

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