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Crypto Billionaires Dead: Matthew Mellon, Fernando Pérez Algaba, Nikolai Mushegian Among Mysterious Deaths

Last Updated September 21, 2023 3:30 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated September 21, 2023 3:30 PM

Key Takeaways

  • The Cryptospace has witnessed mysterious deaths of prominent figures who amassed their wealth with Bitcoin and other alts.
  • These untimely deaths fueled conspiracy theories, speculation, and intense scrutiny within the crypto community.
  • Here are 10+ crypto billionaire/ millionaire deaths worth looking into

Deaths of crypto-made billionaires and millionaires have heightened conspiracy theories and speculation about the motives of these untimely passing.

In the crypto world, a number of conspiracy theories were sparked by these unusual events. The run of fatalities was compared to a mafia hit job by one user, who said  that the “crypto world is taking a page from the mafia handbook.”

Another commenter joked , “I would definitely not put money on it being connected to the central banking hierarchy,” when they linked the death spiral to the “central banking hierarchy.” No manner is possible. They are incredibly reliable. Absolutely no possibility.”

Some Redditors , however, hypothesized that they might not have truly passed away at all, with one commenting , “I wonder how many of these are people faking their own deaths.” Another conjectured  that the billionaires might exploit their “deaths” to begin a new chapter in their lives using fictitious names.

Whatever the motives, manners, or circumstances, there have been enough crypto billionaires and millionaires passing in unusual circumstances to make it worth diving into.

Fernando Pérez Algaba (July, 2023)

Fernando Perez Algaba

Millionaire crypto influencer Fernando Pérez Algaba’s life has ended in a gruesome manner , shocking his almost one million followers. A suitcase containing the mutilated remains of the 41-year-old crypto entrepreneur was found on July 23 by two young children playing nearby in Argentina.

The grisly discovery has reignited interest in Algaba by sparking a murder probe. Authorities reportedly recognized the crypto influencer by his tattoos, and the condition of his bones showed that experts had committed his alleged murder.

The crypto influencer frequently displayed his opulent lifestyle to his 916k Instagram followers, including posh parties, jet skis, and expensive cars. Despite this, mysterious posts from his social media accounts started to appear, hinting at experiences with malice from those he had formerly trusted and aided.

John Forsyth (June, 2023)

John Forsyth

Forsyth, 49, vanished on May 21 while leaving a parking space at a public pool. Nine days later, his suspected gunshot wound-injured body was discovered .

Forsyth’s son, J.R., claimed his father and brother co-owned a cryptocurrency business. Furthermore, Dr. Forsyth was passionate about using cryptocurrencies for the sake of society but had also run into problems, including a “hacker battle” with an unknown individual.

As a result of the success of his social cryptocurrency project “Onfo,” he was identified as a Bitcoin millionaire in a 2020 Forbes magazine article. Due to his demanding work schedule, Mercy even agreed to let him park a luxurious RV in the hospital’s parking lot so he would have a place to unwind in between long hours.

The way Onfo operated was that you could earn cryptocurrency via “network mining”—a term they coined—by bringing users to the platform. This made it free to sign up. Then, with transactions costing only a few cents, you could send ONFO to any location in the world in a matter of seconds.

Bob Lee (April, 2023)

Bob Lee

Both influential people in Silicon Valley and enthusiasts were shocked by the killing of tech CEO  Bob Lee on April 4, 2023. CashApp, a mobile payment platform that enables users to send and receive fiat money as well as Bitcoin via their phones, was founded by Lee.

The sad murder initially appeared to be an accident. But as the investigation went on, a friend of Lee’s was detained concerning Lee’s passing. Conspiracy theorists have pointed out that this death is yet another one in a line of deadly instances involving crypto millionaires that seem to defy explanation as the case has developed.

It turns out that Lee was engaged in another endeavor with MobileCoin Inc., a cryptocurrency business. However, Lee is currently making headlines for other unsavory behaviors, including lavish lifestyle , extravagant sex parties, drug use, etc.

Park Mo (December, 2022)

Park Mo, the executive with the highest stake in Bithumb, was recently discovered dead  in front of his home on December 30 at 4 a.m. Customers can purchase and sell several cryptocurrencies on the South Korean exchange Bithumb. It is one of the biggest exchanges in the nation.

Park served as vice president of Vidente, Bithumb’s biggest shareholder. According to the South Korean newspaper Money Today, Park was being investigated for stock price manipulation and embezzling money from Bithumb.

It is believed that Park committed suicide to avoid being charged. However, some feel that it was not a suicide, and that he was rather killed as a pattern emerges in the crypto space.

Javier Biosca (November, 2022)

Crypto millionaire Javier Biosca allegedly threw himself off a balcony  in Spain in November of last year.

It is well known that Biosca experimented with cryptocurrency’s shadowy side. Although he began as the proprietor of a hardware store, he soon learned about cryptocurrency. The police identified him as a cryptocurrency con artist . Lawyers, politicians, merchants, and various organized crime figures were all conned by Biosca. Thanks to these frauds, he ended himself with almost 100 million euros in the hole.

Naturally, he amassed several formidable foes along the road. Eventually, in July 2021, Spanish police managed to apprehend Biosca. Strangely, after serving eight months in prison, an unknown donor secured his $1 million bail, allowing him to be released. However, it was akin to being hanged.

Biosca’s situation didn’t turn out well as his demise was met as a suicide by throwing himself from a balcony — an act that some conspiracy theorists claim was not suicide. Many believe that he was attacked before he could use his good fortune to flee.

Nikolai Mushegian (October, 2022)

Nikolai Mushegian

American businessman Nikolai Mushegian, 29, was discovered dead  on October 28 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, next to a beach. Drowning was listed as Nikolai Mushegian’s official cause of death. He was a founding member of MakerDAO, a platform for cryptocurrency lending.

Mushegian also significantly impacted the design of the Stablecoin cryptocurrency system. His passing came after several tweets. He claimed that a plot to have him killed was being carried out by Israeli and American intelligence services, as well as a group known as the “pedo elite,” in these tweets .

He also claimed that his ex-girlfriend was a spy. His prior tweets, in which he voiced concern for his safety and denounced an “evil central banking cartel,” as well as these concerning allegations, have increased concerns about the circumstances of his passing.

Vyacheslav Taran (November, 2022)

Vyacheslav Taran, a 53-year-old Russian crypto billionaire and the creator of the Forex Club Group, died in a French helicopter crash  as he was flying from Lausanne, Switzerland, to Monaco. In the crash, the seasoned French pilot also perished.

Notably, another VIP traveler abruptly canceled their journey. Because of the incident’s clear weather surroundings, suspicion of possible wrongdoing has grown.

As the co-founder and president of the cryptocurrency and foreign exchange trading platform Libertex Group, Taran has played a vital role in the financial sector. According to the Ukrainian press, he was also well known for his contacts with Russian intelligence services.

His death’s enigmatic circumstances and the last-minute cancellation of another scheduled passenger were two more unsolved deaths among prominent figures in the cryptocurrency sector.

Tiantian Kullander (November, 2022)

Tiantian Kullander

The 30-year-old co-founder of the Hong Kong-based digital asset business Amber Group, Tiantian Kullander, abruptly died in his sleep . Kullander, who had previously served as a trader at industry behemoths Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, had played a crucial role in the financial world.

He was awarded a coveted spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 rising Leaders and entrepreneurs list in 2019. Along with a group of industry insiders, many of whom were also former employees of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, Kullander founded Amber Group in 2017.

Significant success had been attained by the business, which had received a $3 billion value earlier that year due to a $200 million fundraising round. The reason for Kullander’s untimely and mysterious death baffled many despite the media’s widespread acclaim for him as a diligent and loving family guy.

Mircea Popescu (June, 2021)

On June 23, 2021, millionaire Bitcoin supporter Mircea Popescu, 41, drowned  off the coast of Costa Rica. His untimely passing and projected Bitcoin worth of $1 billion raised concerns about what would happen to his substantial digital holdings.

Popescu established MPEx, a Bitcoin securities exchange, in 2012. It quickly became a hub for early Bitcoin IPOs. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission, an institution he openly defied, became interested in his platform.

Popescu developed a reputation for being an early and vociferous opponent of cryptocurrency scams, particularly the problems surrounding Ripple and Bitcoin Savings & Trust, which were later revealed to be pyramid schemes.

Matthew Mellon (April, 2018)

Matthew Mellon

US billionaire Matthew Mellon, who amassed wealth in the digital currency world, passed away  at 54 years old. Mellon passed away in April 2018 while traveling to Cancun, Mexico, where he intended to enroll in ibogaine therapy at the Clear Sky Recovery Centre.

Ibogaine is a drug with psychedelic effects. He reportedly passed away in a hotel room in Cancun prior to going to the clinic, having consumed the hallucinogenic beverage ayahuasca, which caused a deadly heart attack.

According to Forbes, Mellon’s unusual bet on the Ripple cryptocurrency made him worth an estimated $1 billion ($1.38b). He built an online fortune from a $2 million original investment.

Six days before Ripple’s value fell by 80%, on January 3, he “cashed out” $350 million of his investment. But the issue of where the money is still raises worrisome questions.

Gerald Cotten (December, 2018)

Gerald Cotten, who was in his 30s., passed away in December 2018 while on his honeymoon in India from what the local doctors diagnosed as Crohn’s illness.

But Cotten’s closed-coffin funeral and lack of a post-mortem sparked questions. The medical professional in charge of his care in India insisted that a perforated bowel, a consequence of Crohn’s, was what ultimately led to his death. But may it result in death?

Things become hazy at this point. Cotten oversaw QuadrigaCX, a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that was home to millions of dollars worth of digital money at the time of his passing. The access codes for all the funds onboard were only known to Cotten.

This has given rise to numerous theories regarding his demise.

Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King is a Netflix documentary that explores the mystery surrounding his tragic death in India.

Many claim that Cotton staged his own death as part of a sophisticated exit scheme.

The US$137.21 million in cryptocurrency held on Cotton’s platform, according to everyone close to him, could never be recovered because only Gerald knew the passwords to the assets. Upon his passing, this caused significant personal losses for many individual investors.

But recently, wallets connected to the exchange noticed money being moved about, according  to ZachXBT, a well-known crypto investigator.

Bonus: Yevgeny Prigozhin (August, 2023)

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the infamous commander of the Wagner mercenary army, perished last month in a private plane crash close to Moscow in highly dubious circumstances. There are several ideas on who shot down the jet around the incident.

While rumors regarding Prigozhin’s demise circulated, additional conjecture followed: Prigozhin was connected to a wallet holding an astounding quantity of Bitcoin.

He allegedly owned  the fifth-largest Bitcoin holding in the world. According to reports, X had over US$2.6 billion (AU$4.05 billion) worth of Bitcoins.

Wagner’s cross-border “shadow activities” in the mercenary sector reportedly required large sums of money to be moved around, to pay his employees, and to fund other nefarious activities. However, there isn’t enough evidence to conclusively link Prigozhin with the cryptocurrency wallet address.

In Memoriam

The crypto world is looking for explanations for these inexplicable deaths. The frequency and the circumstances surrounding these fatalities have aroused questions, even though some of them may be unrelated occurrences.

It is hoped that these tragedies will promote greater transparency, safety, and accountability for those participating in the cryptocurrency business as it develops and grows.

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