Since first reporting the ‘Seaquake.io Scam’ one year ago, the crime saga surrounding the so-called “digital asset infrastructure firm” operated by investor fraudsters Andrew Ross Katz, aka Ross Katz and more recent aka Stark Katz and Matthew J. Krueger has continued to unfold.
Soon after MarketsMuse picked up the Law360 report about investor fraud and securities fraud litigation brought in Federal Court against Seaquake and at least five affiliated entities by a Florida-based family office, 2 other aggrieved investors came forward to share their own sordid experiences with Katz and Krueger.
Shortly after, we heard from apartment owners in different parts of the country who had told us that after renting their apartments to Katz and his wife, Selen, those landlords discovered checks written by Katz were returned for insufficient funds, that Katz violated the rules of the rental by having a dog occupy the premises (and the bulldog defecated in the homes), and those landlords further discovered that law enforcement had been called to the respective residences as a result of domestic dispute calls made by Katz’s wife. None of these incidents should be a surprise when considering Katz’s lengthy history of arrests on charges ranging from DUI to trespass, and forcible entry (breaking and entering).
Though the above fall into the criminal misdemeanor category, the prevailing investor fraud, and wire fraud allegations against Katz and Krueger are only outdone by what informed sources believe are actions by Katz and Krueger that will tilt the scale further.
More recently, informants have indicated that Katz and Krueger applied for and received COVID-19 related loans from the SBA for at least one Seaquake entity, and those loan documents include Katz identifying his wife, an Instagram fashionista, as an employee of the company. To support this claim, Selen Katz’s profile on LinkedIn indicates she became “creative director” for Seaquake in the weeks immediately prior to the submission of the SBA loan applications. Very creative.
In June of this year, three non-US venture funds, “SOSV”, “Artesian VC”, and “Chinaaccelerator” simultaneously announced they had provided ‘seed capital’ to one of the assortments of Seaquake entities. According to SOSV website, the firm claims to have $700m AUM, and that a man by the name of William Bao Bean was apparently appointed to the Board of Seaquake, though it remains to be seen as to which of the at least 6 different Seaquake corporate entities Bean is a director of. When asked via email to comment on providing investor funds to Seaquake in the wake of outstanding claims of fraud against the company, Mr. Bean declined and the principals of Artesian VC also declined to reply.
It is known that Mr. Bean contacted the plaintiff attorney in the Federal lawsuit and indicated that he “was authorized to bring a settlement to that claim” and offered to “replace the investor’s original notes with new notes issued by the Seaquake entity that SOSV invested in”. When the plaintiff attorney requested information as to that entity, (i.e. name, financial statements, and other information, Mr. Bean apparently stated he “would not provide any information unless the plaintiffs first agreed to accept the notes (from the undisclosed entity).” Makes perfect sense, only if one embraces the theory that “birds of a feather flock together.”
Not to be outdone by Katz, it was discovered that Seaquake CFO Matthew Krueger had provided false information on bank account documents. According to records obtained by court order, Krueger apparently provided the SSN and DOB of another man with the same exact name who also resides in San Francisco, but one whose credit profile is pristine and whose public information indicates he is an accomplished businessman.
Last in the timeline, this outlet was informed of yet another similar rental nightmare involving Katz. This time Katz allegedly provided false identification to Airbnb with his latest alias ‘Stark Katz’. After the host was informed by neighbors that Katz had brought a dog in violation of the rental conditions, and neighbor complaints of a domestic dispute taking place at the residence, the host then investigated comments on the internet and learned that several other hosts had problems with Katz. When the host demanded Katz vacate the premises, he responded with castigating texts, using expletives aimed at both the host and Katz’s wife, who Katz referred to using terms we are not allowed to publish here. Worse still, Katz demanded the host pay him for the inconvenience of having to vacate, a demand that some would frame as ‘extortion’.
Anyone who encounters Mr. Katz (who investigators have confirmed is using a different burner phone every several weeks to avoid detection) or Mr. Krueger would be advised to stay away and to contact law enforcement.