Jim Clayborn | RNN
Even as the Daily Mail was using the phrase “curse of the crypto whizz kids” to describe two sudden deaths in the cryptocurrency world, another crypto billionaire was reported dead under circumstances the lend themselves to mystery.
Vyacheslav Taran, 53, head of the Libertex Group crypto exchange died Friday after the helicopter in which he was a passenger crashed, according to the Daily Mail.
As if that was not enough to shake up the crypto world reeling from the scandal surrounding the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, Kullander’s death came roughly a month after 29-year-old cryptocurrency success story Nikolai Mushegian was found drowned on a Puerto Rico beach. Mushegian had earlier claimed the CIA and Mossad were out to kill him, according to the Daily Mail.
All three suspicious deaths come closely on the heels of the collapse of the Democrat Party-linked FTX, in which its founder Sam Bankman-Fried, allegedly defrauded investors of $32 billion – yet remains free as a bird in the sunny Bahamas. By contrast, Bernie Madoff, who engineered a massive multi-billion dollar ponzi scheme, was arrested within hours of its discovery in 2008.
Critics say Fried is being treated with kid gloves because of his tens of millions in campaign donations to Democrat candidates in the 2022 midterms, and $40 million alone to Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020.
The deaths also have raised questions about what connections, if any, the three man had to Fried and FTX, which has also been linked to Ukraine and international money-laundering activities.
The Mail said elements of mystery in Taran’s death include the sudden cancellation of another passenger on the flight and the fact that the crash happened in clear weather with an experienced pilot flying the helicopter.
Taran had taken off from Lausanne, Switzerland, and crashed near Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, en route to Monaco.
The deputy public prosecutor of Nice said he would not yet rule out that a third party had been involved in the crash.
“It is with great sadness that Libertex Group confirms the death of its co-founder and chairman of board of directors, Vyacheslav Taran, after a helicopter crash that took place en route to Monaco on Friday, 25 November 2022,” the company said in a statement.
“The board of directors of Libertex Group and company employees extend their most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the Taran family,” the statement said.
The Mail noted that the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN offered a claim, unaccompanied by proof, that Taran was a “billionaire crypto businessman with likely ties to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.”
The claim said Taran’s role was “laundering Russian funds through a system of cryptocurrency operations.”
The $32 billion collapse of FTX has prompted calls for regulation of the crypto market after FTX filed for bankruptcy because it could not cover calls of investors to get their money back.
“Crypto finance, because it is no different than traditional finance in the risks that it exposes, needs to be under the regulatory perimeter,” Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said earlier this month, according to the Financial Post.