Wealth and longevity usually go hand-in-hand, but not always. Five crypto billionaires and near billionaires died in the final two months of 2022. Four of the deaths occurred within about a month, with the fifth death occurring about a month after the fourth death. None of the deaths was overtly violent, but one of the crypto billionaires tweeted that he was the target of assassins just hours before he was found dead of an apparent drowning.
The number of deaths, the crypto connection, and the youth of the deceased men, among other factors, naturally prompted various conspiracy theories. Judge for yourself. Here is the list of high-profile crypto billionaires and investors who died in the final weeks of 2022.
The first of the crypto billionaires on the list, Mushegian, 29, was the co-founder of the cryptolending platform, MakerDAO, and the decentralized stablecoin, Dai. At 4:57 a.m. on Oct. 28, 2022, he tweeted that US and Israeli intelligence agencies, along with the “pedo elite,” were going to murder him.
“CIA and Mossad and pedo elite are running some kind of sex trafficking entrapment blackmail ring out of Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands,” Mushegian, a developer of blockchain-based decentralized finance platforms he saw as an alternative to the global banking system. “They are going to frame me with a laptop planted by my ex [girlfriend] who was a spy. They will torture me to death.”
He was found dead on a beach near Condado, Puerto Rico, near his $6 million beach house later that morning. A Puerto Rican newspaper, citing police reports, said he had been swept out by powerful ocean currents. The beach at Condado is known for strong currents, and eight drownings have occurred there in recent years.
Mushegian was described as “brilliant” and as a “visionary,” but also as paranoid. His family has reportedly said he died by drowning.
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CIA and Mossad and pedo elite are running some kind of sex trafficking entrapment blackmail ring out of Puerto Rico and caribbean islands. They are going to frame me with a laptop planted by my ex gf who was a spy. They will torture me to death.
— (@delete_shitcoin) October 28, 2022
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Javier Biosca was found dead on Nov. 22, 2022, in Estepona, Spain. At the time of his death, Biosca was being investigated for the biggest cryptocurrency fraud in Spain. Biosca, 50, was a native of provincial Spain with a background in running small, local businesses before becoming an early individual investor in bitcoin. A web designer, Biosca created a program that allowed him to automate crypto trading. In 2019 he founded Algorithms Group in London to cater to small investors eager for stake in the thriving crypto market. Biosca, reportedly a quiet man with the demeanor of an accountant, nonetheless wooed investors with promises of investment returns up to 25 percent per week.
The alleged Ponzi scheme at first attracted mostly ordinary people looking to quickly multiply their life savings, but Biosca hired a PR team to drum up business among wealthier clients. In March 2021, a number of Algorithms Group clients filed a complaint, which sparked a criminal investigation that resulted in his arrest on charges of fraud, money laundering, forging documents, and running a criminal organization. He spent eight months in jail, reportedly losing 40 pounds and suffering a severe beating from other inmates before an anonymous person posted the $1.04 million bond to get him released. The bond was revoked, reportedly after whoever posted it concluded Biosca, free from jail, was no more able to repay the vanished funds than he was while incarcerated.
Biosca, reportedly terrified of returning to prison and equally frightened of the Russian and Bulgarian mobsters he had defrauded through Algorithms Group, apparently jumped from the fifth floor of a hotel in Estepona, Spain. His death was ruled a suicide.
Tiantian Kullander, 30, the co-founder of Hong Kong-based digital asset company Amber Group, died in his sleep on November 23, 2022.
Kullander, known as “TT,” began his career as a trader at Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley. He launched Amber Group in 2017 with a group of finance insiders, including some of his former colleagues from Goldman and Morgan Stanley. The start-up had a $3 billion valuation after scoring a $200 million funding round.
In 2019 Kullander was awarded a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He is survived by his wife and young son.
Vyacheslav Taran, 53, died after the helicopter he was riding in crashed on Nov. 25, 2022, near the resort town of Villefranche-sur-Mer after taking off from Lausanne in Switzerland.
Ukrainian news agency UNIAN claimed, without citing any evidence, that Taran was a “billionaire crypto businessman with likely ties to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.” It alleged he was linked to the SVR foreign espionage agency and was responsible for “laundering Russian funds through a system of cryptocurrency operations.”
The helicopter crashed in clear weather during a daylight flight. A second passenger who was to be on the flight canceled at the last moment.
Park Mo was the vice president of Vidente, the largest shareholder of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb. He was found dead on Dec 30, 2022, in front of his house in the early morning. Park Mo was under investigation at the time of his death for allegedly embezzling funds at Bithumb-related companies, as well as manipulating stock prices.
According to Money Today, the vice president of Vidente, the largest shareholder of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, committed suicide by jumping off a building while being investigated by South Korean prosecutors, suspected of corruption and price manipulation.
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) December 30, 2022