Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Crime Stories (with cryptos behind) part II

User avatar of Dominik Nawracaj

Dominik Nawracaj

12 min read·12 Reads
Crime Stories (with cryptos behind) part II

Crime Stories (with cryptos behind) part II

As I came back from my business trip and listened to some "true crime" YouTube podcasts, I got inspired to write about some more thrilling stories with cryptos hiding behind the scenes.

What happened in Ozarks?
Dr. John Forsyth was an outspoken supporter of cryptocurrencies, blending his love for digital currencies with his primary work as an emergency doctor in the United States. Forsyth and his brother managed a crypto company, promoting the use of cryptocurrencies for societal good, notably through their enterprise.
social crypto venture “Onfo” took off, leading to a 2020 Forbes magazine article naming them bitcoin millionaires.
Forsyth managed to work 80–100 hours a week at Cassville Mercy’s ER while simultaneously founding a side business in the cryptocurrency space.
He was recognized as a hardworking doctor who cared profoundly about his patients and frequently teased nurses in the emergency room to relieve stress. He was a father of eight, twice divorced and recently engaged.

John disappeared May 21 in Cassville.

Surveillance cameras at the hospital saw him leaving the ER after a 12-hour shift and heading to his RV, preparing to return for his next shift at 7 p.m. But 7 p.m. came and went, and Forsyth did not show up to work.
According to his relatives, the fact that he didn’t show up for work was an alarming situation because he never just didn’t show up.

By Monday morning, Cassville police were on the scene. As they went over their notes, they saw something strange. On the same Sunday morning, an unconnected search for a missing kid was conducted at the Cassville Aquatic Center, a mile away from the hospital.
Detectives had taken note of all the vehicles in the parking lot, but one in particular stood out: a black Infiniti. It turned out to be Dr. Forsyth's vehicle.
The police found inside Forsyth’s keys, passport, wallet, a cracked cell phone, and his laptop in the car.
Later, investigators revealed three other phones in his RV. Despite these findings, there were no early indications of criminal activity.
Search dogs were brought in to comb the park, but they only indicated one spot—right next to Forsyth’s car. Yet, this lead did not yield any concrete evidence.
Further investigation of the park's CCTV video indicated that a black car entered the parking lot at 7:12 a.m., followed by a white SUV. However, the video quality was so low that authorities couldn't tell if it was Forsyth's car or if the people in the cars had interacted.
No footage showed Forsyth wandering about the area, and the white SUV finally left.
The body
Nine days later, on May 30th, while navigating Beaver Lake in Arkansas, about an hour south of Cassville, two kayakers encountered an unexpected surprise in the water. Witnesses tell KY3 that they noticed what seemed to be a dead animal and paddled closer to check. When they realized it was a body, they quickly called 911.
Forsyth's body had what appeared to be a gunshot wound when he was found, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Authorities didn't say what part of his body was shot or whether they believe Forsyth was shot by someone else or if the gunshot wound appeared to be self-inflicted.
Some personal information.
Family members say John Forsyth was a devoted father to his eight kids and seemed happier than he’d been in a long time.
Forsyth was newly engaged and recently divorced.
On May 10, this year, a judge ordered Forsyth to pay his ex-wife $3,999 in child support every month, plus an additional $15,000 per month.
According to Missouri court records, he married and divorced the same lady twice between 1995 and 2022. Both his brother and Ryan Ricketts, the ex-wife's divorce attorney, claim the divorce was friendly.
The couple first married in Clark County, Nevada. He filed for divorce in April 2019, but the pair married again in July 2020 in Greene County, Missouri. According to court documents, the lady filed for a second divorce in April 2022 in Lawrence County, Missouri.
Red flags
In the days preceding Forsyth's disappearance, a friend shared a story from the previous year. Forsyth stated that he had been kidnapped, restrained with zip ties, and threatened. However, he did not report the event to the police. His family questioned whether history had repeated itself.
Also, the fact of possessing several mobile phones may look a little suspicious (unless they were just broken).
As the investigation continues, more interesting facts or rumors will be revealed.
The mystery of the disappearance of Doctor Forsyth is an object of high interests of many
self-made internet detectives and fans of "true crime" stories.

And this time, I also found a story from my home country, Poland.

Who was Tobias Niemiro?

Olsztyn (the town's name) police discovered Tobiasz Niemiro's body in the forest near Lake Żbik, in the Redykajny residential neighborhood, about 2 p.m. on Thursday. The entrepreneur, who had just made headlines for his involvement in the Bitcoin crisis, was shot in the head.
To get some information about who the mysterious man was, we got to go few months back.
BitMarket exchange
As we could read on its web site:
"BitMarket is the first cryptocurrency exchange in Poland. Since 2013, she has been spreading the ideas of Satoshi Nakamoto, enabling Poles to learn about a modern approach to the world of finance. BitMarket gave everyone a chance to check the bitcoin rate and buy it at the best price."
And, indeed, for four or five years, it was one of the biggest Polish cryptocurrency exchanges, until 2019.
The collapse
June 1, 2019
The first indication of the Bitmarket exchange's difficulties surfaced on the Bitcoin Polska Forum. In its message, the platform alludes to an "error in one of the exchange components" as the cause of the technical failure. Users soon identified this information as a red signal that could only signify the end of the exchange's operations.
Throughout this period, Bitmarket assured its consumers that the funds were secure and that the exchange's suspension was merely a technical issue. Indeed, the platform was restored after a period of inactivity. However, this did not mean the end of symptoms and troubles. Following the debut of Bitmarket, customers were prompted to reset their passwords and withdraw cash for 48 hours. Some users who use the exchange were also advised to do repeated verification by emailing a scan of their ID card.
These behaviors enraged a large portion of the community, which repeatedly questioned Bitmarket about the motives for such behavior. However, the stock exchange remained mostly silent or covered its tracks with the following clauses of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
On July 8th, the Exchange website published:
"... Dear Users, We regret to inform you that, due to the loss of liquidity, as of July 8, 2019, the website was forced to discontinue its operations. We will keep you informed about further steps."
Bitmarket's collapse was officially caused by the exchange's lack of liquidity. The platform's final moments of operation were mostly caused by an artificial surge in the BTC/PLN exchange rate. On the evening of July 8, the stock exchange restricted access to the site, freezing all customer cash. The above-mentioned statement appeared on the website.

A reporter named Adam Socha published a post on the website debate on stating that Tobiasz Niemiro was to provide him with "certain materials":
"He spoke for a long time, spontaneously, and seemed sincere. He claimed that he was a victim himself, that no one would believe him, and that he would have to live with it. After the conversation was transcribed and authorized (he made only minor corrections), the interview was published on Wednesday, July 17. In the email, he thanked me for it and wrote that it was the only honest text on this subject that had appeared in the media. Later, he wrote to me several more times. I read the last email on Thursday, July 25, at work. Only after hearing about the death did I check that it had been sent at 02.57 in the morning. The body was found at 2 p.m., but the autopsy will determine when the fatal shot occurred."
"The email was extensive. He found himself in a community of crooked businesspeople. He gave their names. I will not expose its contents for the sake of the investigation; nonetheless, I have submitted the emails to the prosecutor's office. He also stated that he would send some materials. He didn't have time," writes Adam Socha.
A few months later, Marcin A., one of BitMarket's founders, was accused of deceiving stock market clients. Fraud is estimated at PLN 100 million. This was about the number of losses sustained by investors throughout several years of Bitmarket's operation under Marcin A. The specifics of the loss of funds are still unclear.

As I personally found listening to "true crime stories" highly entertaining while driving home, I think some of them, especially those with a crypto accent, will be interesting for some of my post readers.
I hope you enjoyed this post.
Thanks for stopping by.


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