The Namur public prosecutor’s office on Wednesday requested a 2-year sentence of imprisonment combined with a suspended probation, a fine of 1000 euros and a professional ban of 5 years against a defendant accused of forgery, use of counterfeiting and fraud. A one -year sentence combined with a suspended probation and a fine of 500 euros is required against the defendant’s spouse and a fine of 2000 euros is claimed against the company QI (Quantum Intelligence), founded in October 2017.
Defendant, Ghislain E., who has lived in Mauritius for a year, founded the QI company in October 2017, with the help of his wife, who has the management degree required to launch the company. He promised his investors to return between 50 and 80% in 6 months, without taking any risk, boasting that he himself has benefited from returns of almost 1000%, with supporting evidence . The 27 civil parties have invested nearly 3,970,000 euros through 45 contracts, amounts that have not been repaid in full. Returns are not paid.
According to Deputy Moreau, the case began with suspicions of money laundering reported to the Financial Information Processing Unit. Investments are made first in the form of loans between individuals and then in the form of discretionary management agreements. “The totals are many and significant. They transited to defendants ’accounts, to company accounts and left immediately. There was gender confusion between the accounts. If the investments took place within a year in the amount of 360,000 euros, the money would, from March 2018, no longer be invested in cryptocurrency, as provided by the contracts. Large amounts were used for exterior fittings in the couple’s home (133,000 euros) or played in the casino (410,000 euros in Ostend) or online (202,000 euros). The first investors are paid the money of those who follow, then there are no more reimbursements. Unrealistic returns of up to 80% are promised in a very short time.“
According to the public prosecutor’s representative, the defendant never provided evidence that the money was actually invested in cryptocurrency. Ghislain E. would have been given nearly 4 million euros, which had not been invested in cryptocurrency and, for the most part, had not been paid to investors, who had not received their returns. . And to continue:When the civil parties sought reimbursement, the defendant stated that he was very solvent. A few months later, he had exhausted his accounts and could no longer use the promised amounts. Defendant changed the password of his bitcoin wallet and now says he cannot afford to convert the cryptocurrency back to cash to compensate the victims.“
The defense is formal: Ghislain E. always aims to turn investors back but he cannot do so for reasons beyond his control. Me Buyle defined: “Defendants have sufficient assets to pay them. They still had enough money to do it early. My client had a legacy for, which is why he won’t have to invest bitcoins from a while. He could not be reimbursed because of seizures made by the public prosecutor’s office, the position of Belgian banks in relation to bitcoin and because of the illiquidity of bitcoins. The problem of returning profits from bitcoins to bank accounts is a global and real problem, because the matter is not regulated.“
And the lawyer to specify:Contracts are not fake. The return he promised, which is 80%, is realistic, in 2018, the return of bitcoin will be 1.318%! He didn’t pay investors bitcoins because that’s not what the contract provided, which refers to reimbursement in fiat currency. Most investors don’t want to get paid with bitcoins. Since 2018, he has traveled the world to find a solution and reimburse.“
The defense is asking for an acquittal and assuring him, the money is available, “it’s all a matter of time. We are dealing here with a breach of contract with no fraudulent intent.“
The non -acceptance of the proceedings was pleaded for the wife of Ghislain E., the latter not being heard within the framework of the investigation. Defendant is co-manager of the company and therefore must represent it, the ad hoc representative of Quantum Intelligence also pleads not to accept the proceedings or, otherwise, the acquittal, considering that the company , a legal person, is instrumentalized.
Resumption of debates on June 29.