The Kuetzal website has now completely disappeared
There has been no communication at all from anyone at Kuetzal since they blamed various attacks and anti-money laundering procedures for the need to close down their operations. Initially, the site was kept open and available for login by investors. However the site has now completely disappeared. Recently, a Kuetzal investor with an IT background was able to access and extract all of the data on the site. This was possible due to the use of very weak admin passwords. This clearly shows how weak the security of the Kuetzal site was, and creates some potential data protection concerns for Kuetzal investors (particularly relating to bank account information and identification documents). The good news is that the information saved is likely to become useful in the future for law enforcement investigations. In particular, the IP addresses that were used by people that had admin rights.
Criminal and legal situation
Unlike Envestio (see below), the Estonian police have not yet announced the launch of a criminal investigation. This is extremely surprising and disappointing. Thousands of Kuetzal investors have made reports to Police in their home countries, as well as to Estonian police. We expect that this will eventually create sufficient pressure to open an investigation. If no investigation is launched, this will raise questions about why the Estonian police are not acting. What is really happening behind the scenes?
Kuetzal investors are also planning to start their own litigation, which could result in a bankruptcy petition against Kuetzal. It will also likely include lawsuits against Kuetzal owners and management team members. If you were a Kuetzal investor and would like to learn more about this, we would suggest that you join the Telegram channel called ‘KuetzalDiscussion’.
What seems to have happened?
Investors have begun to investigate the loans that were listed on the Kuetzal site. The results so far have been extremely concerning. In one case, it seems that an entire development project was fake, as the designated site in the loan agreement was owned by a third party, the site had a mortgage in favor of a bank, and no development has ever taken place. In other situations, the management teams of borrowers listed on Kuetzal say that they had never received any funds from Kuetzal, and there was no loan agreement in place. So far only one borrower has been found that confirms receiving funds. However, he claims to have fully repaid the loan (yet investors were never credited/paid).
It seems more and more clear that Kuetzal was a fairly unsophisticated fraud from day 1. A glossy website, high-interest rates and promises of a ‘Kuetzal care’ buyback guarantee were sufficient to raise over €8 million from investors.
Everything has disappeared, including management
The Envestio website disappeared on the 23rd January. At the same time, former (and returning) CEO/COO Evgeniy Kukin deleted all social media accounts, and applied to google to have all links to his name removed under the European Union ‘right to be forgotten’ rules.
The only former management team member so far to have made a statement is Liene Meldere, who was listed as the ‘Investment and Development Advisor’. However Ms Meldere attempted simply to distance herself from Envestio, saying that she knew nothing about the situation and was only working as a contractor.
At this stage it seems that many if not all Envestio loans were highly dubious. Investors have begun the process of attempting to verify with the management teams of the borrowers whether any of the loans were genuine and valid. Progress has been slow so far, but unlike Kuetzal it seems possible that some loans may potentially be recoverable for investors.
Police launch an investigation
Following significant pressure from investors around Europe, Estonian Police finally announced the launch of a criminal investigation. While this is good news, the Police noted that the likelihood of this resulting in any recoveries for investors is small. The launch of the investigation shows that investors can get results if they work together and make enough noise.
In addition to the criminal investigation, Envestio investors have organised a collective lawsuit, and also a successful gofundme campaign to raise the initial funds needed to start the litigation process. More information can be found on the Telegram channel called ‘Envestio Discussion’.
Summarized by HANS MARWITZ