A fake CEO used to promote a crypto scam that lost more than $1 billion of its clients’ money was actually a freelance British TV presenter living in Thailand, according to recent research from a popular crypto YouTuber.
The so-called ‘CEO,’ Steven Reece Lewis, was used to front the HyperVerse crypto scam in December 2021. The crypto subscription scheme promised lucrative returns under the umbrella of the multi-faceted ‘Hyper’ brand. However, it turned out to be little more than a highly unregulated pyramid scheme that reportedly lost around $1.3 billion in investor funds.
The scheme’s slick promotional materials claimed that Reece Lewis was a Leeds University graduate who held a master’s degree from Cambridge, worked for Goldman Sachs, and sold a successful web development firm to software giant Adobe. However, all of these claims have since been debunked and now Reece Lewis’s real identity has been revealed.
HyperVerse CEO unmasked
Using facial recognition software, crypto YouTuber Nobody Special Finance was able to find photographs of the as-yet-unnamed CEO drinking in various clubs and bars in Bangkok. From here, he used the same software to identify those seen drinking with him and was able to tie everybody together via their Facebook accounts. He eventually identified the CEO as a British man called Steve Harrison.
Harrison — or ‘Stevo’ — says on his Facebook page that between 2021 and 2022 he worked as a freelance TV presenter “alongside international businesses, helping front their products & services.”
His page lists his hometown as Bournemouth and states that he currently lives in Bangkok. It also lists various reporting gigs at Thai football outlets between March and May 2021, and shows him as the founder of a real estate consultancy firm called Move to What Moves You.
He frequently documents his travels across Thailand but, according to BehindMLM, has deleted recently taken photos of himself in India.
It’s not clear just how much — if anything — Harrison knew about HyperVerse or its malicious practices.
HyperVerse is owned by the HyperTech Group and is run by Sam Lee and Ryan Xu. The pair previously founded Blockchain Global, a collapsed Australian bitcoin company currently in $58 million worth of debt to creditors.
The first arrest of anybody associated with the scam came last Friday. As reported by The Guardian, a HyperVerse promoter named Rodney Burton, otherwise known as ‘Bitcoin Rodney,’ was arrested and charged with operating and conspiring to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.
According to an IRS analysis, Burton received 562 payments totaling around $7.8 million between June 2020, and January 2022. He shared himself online buying two Rolls-Royce cars in one day, a $3.5 million yacht, and a diamond-encrusted watch worth $1.4 million.