You don’t mess with Bitcoin investors from Ladysmith or, maybe, well, you do, but your house gets torched. After several South Africans lost their money to a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme in the rural town of Ladysmith, they decided to torch the house of the alleged mastermind of the crime, Sphelele “Sgumza” Mbatha.
According to reports, a group of angry investors decided to loot and set on fire the house of the man who operated the alleged Ponzi scheme. Some people took electronics from the house, but it was unclear whether they were investors or not. The local firefighters were called to the house and ended the fire, but most of what was there was lost. Other items that were damaged included a luxury car.
According to a local community leader, Mbatha was “unreachable” so they decided to take matters into their own hands.
The crowd of angry protesters included around 1,500 people. Most of them, however, were not directly involved in the fire. The same community leader quoted before also affirmed that these people gathered in front of the Bitcoin Wallet (the alleged scam) office before they decided to torch the house.
These people decided to go to the police because it was falsely reported that the alleged scammer was arrested, but they didn’t find him there, so they decided to leave.
He affirmed that most of these people were very angry because they believed that the scam would make them rich. In fact, the truth could not be more different. The scam promised them a return on investment of 100% in only two weeks but it delivered nothing instead.
As soon as Mbatha ran out of money to pay the investors, he simply decided to shut down the company and they were left without any kind of support. He affirmed that this happened because hackers infiltrated his site and stolen his money, however, this is not very likely.
He was clearly operating a Ponzi scheme with returns that were simply too big to be true. The “hack” was probably just an excuse to run away with the money. Mbatha also lied that he was only an employee in the company when there was proof that he was actually the director of Bitcoin Wallets Achievers, the official name of the company.
The community leader also affirmed that the whole situation was very sad. A lot of people who invested were very poor and lost the little that they had in the shady business. Some people are claiming that Mbatha has decided to run away, but no one has either denied or confirmed that so far.
While Mbatha was still not being chased, he got known as the “Lord of Ladysmith”. People called him that because he was often seen in the streets with an expensive car and living an ostentatious life in the small town.
At the moment, Mbatha is not only being hunted by the mob, as the police are also after him in order to determine if he really robbed the money or not.