Tag Archives: investor fraud

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Founder of Crypto Trading Firm “Seaquake” Andrew Katz Returns to NY Criminal Court to face Felony Assault Charge; UPDATE: CONVICTED AND FLEES: NOW WANTED BY NYPD

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Crypto Firm Co-Founder Andrew Ross Katz aka Ross Katz aka Stark Katz

Andrew Katz aka Ross Katz aka Stark Katz, the co-founder of so-called digital asset infrastructure and crypto-currency trading firm Seaquake.io, who along with his partner Matthew J. Krueger of San Francisco are facing investor fraud charges, is now slated to return to New York Criminal Court July 14 to answer to one count of felony assault, one count of grand larceny and one count of aggravated harassment.

Court: New York Criminal Court
Case # CR-020482-20NY (PUBLIC RECORDS REMOVED UPON CONVICTION)

Arrest Date & Time: November 5 2020 09:30 Arrest #:M20629660 

Officer Agency:NYPD 

Defendant Katz, Andrew R Katz, whose bail was set at $200,000 had him posting $100,000 in cash, which sources believe to have emanated from funds that Katz and his partner Matthew J. Krueger of San Francisco hoodwinked from a Florida-based family office 18 months ago.

Defendant Katz, who continues to promote himself on LinkedIn and on the firm’s website as co-founder of the so-called digital asset infrastructure company “Seaquake.io” was arrested this past November in New York and has been granted numerous delays to answer to the latest charges. If Katz is found guilty, or if he decides to plead guilty and save the court system the aggravation of having to deal with him, he could be sentenced to a minimum of 2 years in prison.

NEWS ALERT: FEBRUARY 15 2022: ANDREW ROSS KATZ AKA ROSS KATZ CONVICTED OF ASSAULT CHARGE IN NYC; FLEES AND FOREGOES $200K BAIL BOND; FUGITIVE WARRANT FOR ARREST ISSUED IN NEW YORK; KATZ NOW BELIEVED TO BE SENDING DEATH THREATS TO WITNESSES; CONSIDERED TO BE ARMED AND DANGEROUS.

REWARD OFFERED BY NYPD

In a continuation of a bizarre story that MarketsMuse has been monitoring for more than two years, Andrew Ross Katz, the founder, and CEO of so-called digital asset/crypto trading firm Seaquake.io is now a fugitive after failing to appear for a series of court dates in New York Criminal Court and since being convicted of assault charges brought in November 2020. For reasons that would not be explained by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the New York Criminal Court case record was expunged from the public database at the time of the February 7 conviction.

The Manhattan DA would also not comment on allegations the ADA prosecuting the case had been warned at the early stages of the criminal proceedings of Katz’s extensive criminal background in multiple states, and that the ADA had been lobbied to request the court to deny bail, as the defendant should have been considered a flight risk. Katz’s criminal arrest record extends over many years, with arrests on an assortment of charges in cities that include his hometown of Arvada, CO, Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. Katz’s most recent arrest apparently took place in late 2021 in Miami, during the same time a cryptocurrency convention was being held in that town.

Editors note: Fugitive Katz’s ‘aberrant behavior’ seems to extend back to his adolescence, according to public court filings. While in his teens, he was dispatched by his parents to a Utah-based ‘educational facility’ operated by “World Wide Association of Specialty Programs” that, according to public records, “is in the business of serving desperate parents of troubled youths and specialized in improving the students’ aberrant social behavior..” Per link above, fugitive Katz and Alyson Katz (Andrew Katz’s mother) were members of a class-action lawsuit brought against “WWSPS”. (That suit was dismissed in 2011).

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Seaquake.io principals Andrew Katz (l), Matthew Krueger (c) and CIO Dylan Knight

According to informed sources, soon after his disappearance last week, Katz has purportedly commenced a series of death threats against a separate individual (and immediate family members), who is a victim of financial fraud that Katz and partner, Matthew J. Krueger of San Francisco committed back in 2019. That victim has since assisted law enforcement in pursuit of criminal charges against the Seaquake executives, and it is believed the [purported] death threats that came from Katz (“purportedly, yet with high probability”, according to law enforcement officers familiar with the matter), are part and parcel to a lengthy history of intimidation tactics that Katz has exacted on those in retribution for filing charges against him.

To the amazement of those interviewed and familiar with the apparent criminal activities of Katz, Krueger, and associated entities, the individuals’ profiles, and respective current Seaquake.io executive roles remain displayed and promoted on LinkedIn (e.g. Andrew Katz, Founder & CEO; Matthew Krueger, “Partner & CFO” and the company’s website continues to publish “updates” that suggest “the firm offers a range of fintech applications and services to the cryptocurrency industry”.

Most recent updates to that website promote news that funds managed by Crypto Industry Pioneer Brock Pierce‘s Percival Ventures, along with those from Blockchain Founders Fund, whose senior principal is Aly Madhavji, are investors in Seaquake. Both Pierce (now referred to as the Prince of Puerto Rico, as well as being a 2020 presidential candidate) and Madhavji are displayed as Advisors to the company on the Seaquake website. Neither of these individuals or members of their firms has responded to outreaches by MarketsMuse for them to confirm or deny the information displayed on the Seaquake.io website.

NYPD TIPS Program is Offering a Reward for information that leads to the arrest of Andrew Katz. Anyone with knowledge of Katz’s whereabouts should contact the NYPD by phoning 800-577-TIPS, or via the TIPS website

As to the charge of Aggravated Harassment, according to multiple sources, this particular charge is consistent with a behavior pattern that Katz has perpetrated repeatedly over the past several years against various people (unrelated to the current charges). No less than four individuals who have had ‘run-ins’ with Katz, including former landlords, relatives, and aggrieved investors have each independently contacted MarketMuse to share respective incidences in which Katz has tormented them with physical threats via voice message and text messages sent by ‘burner phones’, as well as defamatory messages that Katz has posted on social media platforms, all in effort to intimidate these individuals in retribution for legitimate complaints they had made against him in various jurisdictions.

andrew-katz-matthew-krueger-seaquake-investor-fraudAs reported previously Katz and Krueger (pictured left) who also still promotes himself on LinkedIn and on the company’s website as Chief Financial Officer for Seaquake), have both been labeled “the Crypto Kleptos” and The Seaquake Slime Boys” by several people interviewed. Rumor is they are both facing a pending list of other criminal matters, including SBA PPP bank loan fraud. Public records indicate that Mssrs. Katz and Krueger applied for a PPP loan for Seaquake OPS LLC, a Wyoming entity that Seaquake corporate presentations have identified as one of several Seaquake companies. Seaquake OPS LLC did receive a Paycheck Protection Loan of $22,813 through Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, in May, 2020.

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“Crypto-Trading Firm” Founder Andrew Katz Now Faces Felony Assault Charges

Andrew Katz aka Ross Katz aka Stark Katz, the co-founder of so-called digital asset infrastructure and crypto-currency trading firm Seaquake.io, who along with his partner Matthew J. Krueger of San Francisco are facing investor fraud charges, is now slated to appear in New York Criminal Court April 30 to answer one count of felony assault, one count of grand larceny and one count of aggravated harassment. Katz, whose bail was set at $200,000 had him posting $100,000 in cash, which sources believe to have emanated from funds that Katz and his partner Matthew J. Krueger of San Francisco hoodwinked from a Florida-based family office 18 months ago.

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Seaquake’s Matthew Krueger (L), Fugitive Andrew Katz (R) http://www.seaquake.io)

FEB 12 2022 UPDATE: ANDREW KATZ CONVICTED OF ASSAULT CHARGES IN NEW YORK; FLEES AND FORGOES $200K BAIL; NOW A FUGITIVE WANTED BY NYPD

Reward Offered For Information Leading to Apprehension of Founder of so-called “crypto trading and digital asset infrastructure firm”. DO NOT APPROACH SUSPECT: CONTACT NYPD AT 1-800-577-TIPS, OR SUBMIT TIP TO CRIME STOPPERS WEBSITE VIA THIS LINK

The case document is via New York Court System Case CR-02020482-20NY, The victim of the assault is Katz’s now-estranged wife, Selen Katz, a Turkish immigrant who appears to make her career as an Instagram fashion model.

Felony Assualt Victim, Selen Katz,

Defendant Katz, who apparently still promotes himself on the firm’s website as co-founder of the so-called digital asset infrastructure company “Seaquake.io” was arrested this past November in New York and now faces 2nd Degree Felony Assault Charges (a class D felony), one count of Grand Larceny ( an E Felony) and one charge of aggravated harassment. If Katz is found guilty or if decides to plead guilty and save the court system the aggravation of having to deal with him, he could be sentenced to a minimum of 2 years in prison.

Katz and Krueger, who have been labeled “the Crypto Kleptos” and The Seaquake Slimeboys” by several people interviewed, are also said to be facing a pending list of other criminal matters, including SBA PPP bank loan fraud. Public records indicate that Mssrs. Katz and Krueger applied for a PPP loan for Seaquake OPS LLC, a Wyoming entity that Seaquake corporate presentations have identified as one of several Seaquake companies. Seaquake OPS LLC did receive a Paycheck Protection Loan of $22,813 through Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, in May, 2020.

Whether Katz or Krueger (or jointly) prepared the loan application when listing employees, Katz’s estranged wife was identified as the company’s Creative Director (whose employment with Seaquake, according to her LinkedIn profile, started in April of 2020. Informed sources have since indicated that Ms. Katz had no recollection of ever having created a LinkedIn account, and has stated she was never an employee of any Seaquake entity. According to police records in Los Angeles and New York, the current assault charge is the latest in a series of at least five prior domestic abuse arrests for Katz.

Manhattan District Attorney’s office would not provide details as to Katz’s current place of residence, yet he is suspected of squirming through an assortment of Airbnb rentals in Southern California while awaiting his April 30 court appearance, as well as New York City. In various documents, Katz also lists residences in Arvada Colorado (belonging to his parents Ken and Alyson Mahl Katz), and he lists addresses in California and Florida in various bank account documents obtained by court order. According to public databases, Katz has prior assault charges, along with charges of harassment, breaking and entering, and stalking throughout the past several years.

In the Florida securities and investor fraud case, in which defendants Katz and Krueger are charged with defrauding a Family Office it’s alleged that the Seaquake Slimeboys (mis) represented they were operating a start-up business and told investors that their several hundred thousand dollar investment in August 2019 “was for balance-sheet purposes only and to show pending venture investors the company did have other investors and assets on the balance sheet”. Communications sent by Katz to the investors indicated a small portion of the capital would be deployed to a proprietary “high-frequency trading” application for crypto currencies.

Alas, there were no pending VC investors, and there was no actual trading application. Katz and Krueger moved the investor funds from one bank to another, and then to a Coinbase account, and thereafter to crypto exchange Binance. It is easy to suspect that Katz and Krueger (a former PayPal employee fluent in cryptocurrency) have been enjoying the 6-fold increase in the price of bitcoin since the initial investor fraud took place.

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SBA Bailout Funds Going to Firms on FBI Watchlist

PPP and EIDL Fraud is as rampant as COVID-19. According to the front page story appearing in the New York Times April 26 edition, hundreds of millions of dollars in SBA bailout funds that were intended by the US Treasury to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19 via the Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL Loan Program have been siphoned off by public companies, private equity-backed companies and thousands of small businesses, many of the latter don’t really exist other than in name only.

To many financial crime investigators who are fluent in the failings of US government’s effort to support businesses that have suffered from the pandemic, it is no surprise that tens of millions of dollars have gone to scamsters and fraud artists, including those who have been recently indicted or have been under investigation by federal law enforcement and federal and state regulatory agencies.

Shocking?! Nah. According to one senior investigator from The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) “However well-intended, the PPP and EIDL loan programs created the perfect opportunity for serial financial fraud artists to exploit loopholes that a teenager could drive a Boeing jet through. PPP and EIDL fraud is rampant.”

In addition to the assortment of rogues that were outed in the above-referenced NYT coverage, it appears that individuals running a so-called fintech company called Seaquake.io, which claims to “specialize in digital asset infrastructure” along with “crypto currency trading applications” and profiled here and other online media outlets back in October, are back at it again.

Informed sources have indicated having direct knowledge that Seaquake.io principals Andrew Katz and Matthew Krueger, who have been cited in federal court for an assortment of investor fraud and wire fraud allegations, had recently filed SBA loan applications for as many as six different Seaquake entities, including Colorado-registered Seaquake Inc., Seaquake Manager LLC, Seaquake LP, Wyoming-based Seaquake OPS LLC, and a California entity, Seaquake Capital LP. Each of these entities list both Andrew R. Katz and Matthew Krueger as controlling officers.

And, it was revealed that Seaquake OPS LLC, the above-referenced Wyoming entity did in fact apply for and did receive a Paycheck Protection Loan of $22,813 through Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, which was approved in May, 2020.

AVEM Ventures LLC, a Colorado entity identified along with each of the above in a federal civil court action, lists Katz as the controlling officer and a Kenneth S. Katz as the registered agent. This entity is also believed to have applied for loans and grants intended for businesses that have been impaired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is only one problem, the company is a scam, according to a former business development executive for Seaquake, who worked for the company while he was also registered with Finra as a senior executive for San Francisco based brokerdealer US Capital Global. That former employee (his tenure lasted all of 7 months and he has since moved to the role of ” Director, Digital Wealth Solutions” for Apex Clearing Corp.” has stated “Seaquake is not a real business; the product(s) they claim to have are “nothing more than vaporware”; they have no employees drawing salaries other than Katz, (who recently added his wife Selen to the ‘payroll’, though it would appear that her full-time job is that of an Instagram influencer, along with Krueger and UK-based Dylan Knight, who is listed as the chief technology officer on corporate documents. This is all despite claims made on the company website as to having multiple employees; “a canard”, according to one source who says the “serial fabrications made by the company are advanced further by fraudulent representations made in an assortment of investor solicitation documents the company has sent to dozens of individuals and fund managers.”

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Seaquake’s Matthew Krueger (L), Andrew Katz (R)

Katz was seen in December vacationing at a resort in Cabo with his swimsuit model wife, a Turkish national whose opportunity to apply for US citizenship comes on the third anniversary of their marriage, August 2 2020. How the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or Department of Homeland Security view applicants who are married to accused money launders is only something those agencies can respond to. In early March 2020, the couple was spotted posing for photos on the beach in Southampton, New York. It is rumored that Katz is now hiding out in New York City. Neither he or his San Francisco-based partner Krueger, both accused of defrauding at least several investors, including a Florida-based family office this past August, have made themselves available for comment.

The San Francisco branch of BBVA Compass Bank, the bank of record for an assortment of Seaquake enterprises, had no comment has to whether they facilitated EIDL loan processing or payments to the Seaquake’s alleged criminal enterprise.

One can only hope that FBI and SEC efforts lead to a long-term quarantine for these individuals.