The premises belonging to Envion AG’s former CEO Matthias
Woestmann, and the law offices of Berlin lawyer Thomas van Aubel (Van Aubel
& Partner Attorneys at Law) were recently raided by Berlin police.
Envion AG offices raided by Berlin police
The surprise raid saw investigators seizing documents and hard drives. The raids were ordered by prosecutors at multiple locations “connected to an illegal scheme which led to the collapse of the Swiss cryptocurrency mining company.”
For some time, state prosecutors had been investigating Van
Aubel and Woestmann. The investigations came after the pair’s illegal “takeover
and subsequent cover-up caused a scandal in the blockchain world.”
Woestmann and Van Aubel could end up facing criminal charges
and possible jail time.
How Envion AG went belly up
Envion started off on a good note when a Berlin team wanted
to move the energy-intensive crypto-mining to areas that offered “cheap and
green energy with mobile containers.” The company subsequently raised $ 100
million from 37,000 investors.
This achievement was hailed as a German record-breaking ICO (initial coin offering) in 2018. However, not long afterwards, the founders and management split up.
The company was never started and investors lost money as their investment continued to lose value. Woestmann and his adviser, Van Aubel, were held responsible for the mess.
Who is to blame for the company failing
The pair was blamed for “a covert majority takeover without
prior arrangement which paralyzed the company.” In turn, the former CEO and
lawyer accused the founders of producing too many Envion tokens in order to become
A small group of investors also blame the founders for the
company crumbling. They’ve since initiated legal measures against them.
Woestmann and Van Aubel claim raids were unlawful
However, the raid by the Berlin State Prosecutor has signaled positive tidings for Envion token holders. According to Finance Forward, the prosecutor declined to give further details and analysis is ongoing.
Speaking through a lawyer, Woestmann and Van Aubel claimed the searches were unlawful. Investigators also didn’t clarify whether the raids meant there was a charge of guilt or innocence in the case.
Founders opened a case against ex-CEO and lawyer
About a year ago, a preliminary investigation was opened
against the two men after the founders laid a criminal complaint against them.
The founders accused the two of “an unlawful capital increase.”
Woestmann and Van Aubel denied any wrongdoing. In June 2018,
the district court ruled that “the majority takeover by the management was
illegal and injurious to the founders.”
The verdict was then upheld at the Berlin Court of Appeals at a subsequent hearing. In 2018, Envion founder Michael Luckow blamed the pair for stealing their company.
How Woestmann and Van Aubel joined Envion AG
Woestmann was approached in 2017 by Envion’s founders because he appeared to be an “extremely well-connected energy expert.” They believed he would give the “company a respectable face.”
Woestmann, in turn, brought in Van Aubel in January 2018.
The lawyer then proceeded to take over “shares in the company as part of the controversial
Envion AG dissolved at the end of 2018
In March 2019, the Swiss financial regulator Finma meaninglessly
“declared the Envion ICO illegal.” However, in November 2018, the Cantonal
Court of Zug had already ordered the dissolution of Envion AG because of a lack
of “statutory auditors.”
The founder’s way forward
Bankruptcy proceedings were held by the founders. The founders hope to “unlock a portal where token holders can register their claims at the end of October.”
Luckow and the other founders launched the “Liquidation Update Program (LUP)” for this purpose. The premise for it is that token holders will receive millions of dollars’ worth of claims in the liquidation and damages lawsuits which will be donated by the founders.
According to Presse Portal:
“An independent trustee will distribute money awarded to the founders during the liquidation for their tokens or shares in envion to token holders who sign up for the program via the website www.liquidation-upgrade-program.org.”
Membership is completely free and open to anyone holding Envion
tokens acquired during the ICO or afterwards.