It is claimed that Stefanos Papanastasiou owes one property developer, Savvas “Sam” Alexiadis, more than $2.7m AUD – and other out-of-pocket investors could follow suit.
According to The Age newspaper, Papanastasiou had told his clients – including high-profile lawyers and entrepreneurs – that he had spent a six-figure sum on developing a hi-tech algorithm that could produce massive rewards by mitigating levels of volatility in the crypto market.
The 39-year-old allegedly sent texts to Mr Alexiadis which said:
“I promise this much, I intend to ensure everyone gets a head start, a huge break or hit the jackpot. It’s there for us to capitalize from.”
“The numbers are staggering, seemingly unequivocally within reach. This transition in history, is like no other before it.”
Court documents claim that Mr Alexiadis transferred in excess of $2.1m AUD into an account used for trading by the defendant over a four-month period, and he also sent a substantial number of Bitcoins to crypto wallets.
When the property developer asked questions about what was going on, Papanastasiou allegedly replied: “Sam, don’t get caught up in the details. Leave it to me … I’ll deal with whatever funds are in there … Eyes on the prize Sam. Understood? Got your back.”
It is also claimed that Mr Alexiadis was asked to transfer a total of $75,000 to the trader’s wife and sister, along with $450,000 to a mattress supplier – allegations which could potentially fall afoul of regulators if true. Court documents indicate that Papanastasiou, who also ran an online mattress brand which appears to have ceased trading, had promised to compensate his client in crypto of the same value.
The alleged incidents took place in the run-up to the booming price of cryptocurrency collapsing – and it is already known that Papanastasiou and his wife were forced to default on a $5.4m AUD home after Bitcon’s value tumbled precipitously at the start of 2018.
Lawyers representing Mr Alexiadis maintain that the crypto trader has ignored repeated questions to repay the funds and has refused to offer an insight into the history of the trades supposedly made on his behalf.
But the newspaper reports that Papanastasiou has a different version of events, as he insists that the plaintiff was paid back in full.