Late Friday afternoon, decentralized finance, or DeFi, investigator @zachxbt published a series of tweets accusing fraudster Omar Zaki of hiding behind the facade of 0xbrainjar, the anonymous head of product at Composable Finance.
From last November to this February, Composable Finance raised over $167 million through seed funding, as well as crowdloan auctions on the Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM) parachains. Over 9,000 participants contributed to the DOT crowdloan alone.
As told by zachxbt, who cited documents from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, Omar Zaki, then a 21-year-old New York resident and graduate of Yale University with a bachelor degree in physics and economics, was charged with fraud after misleading investors while operating an unregistered hedge fund, resulting in a civil penalty of $25,000. In addition, Two crypto projects allegedly run by Zaki, Warp Finance, and Force DAO allegedly suffered hacks resulting in $8.367 million in lost funds — some of which was partially recovered.
— zachxbt (@zachxbt) February 18, 2022
The DeFi investigator allegedly linked the two identities together by first creating a burner Telegram to message both Zaki’s personal & Anon account, where both messages were “read at the same exact time.” Then, zachxbt reached out to individuals who “confirmed the anon identity link to Yale + physics/Econ background.” Finally, a phone number was claimed by zachxbt to be linked to the developer’s name, but it’s unclear how it connects Zaki’s identity with 0xbrainjar.
zachxbt is renowned in the blockchain community for his sleuthing skills in unmasking the history behind anonymous devs of DeFi projects. Last month, the DeFi sleuth correctly uncovered that the co-founder of defunct exchange QuadrigaCX, Michael Patryn, held the position of chief financial officer at Wonderland. Just a few days later, the Avalanche-based reserve currency shut down after negative publicity surrounding the unmasking caused a sharp divide in the community.
This story is developing and will be updated as more details emerge.
Ray Schuetz received a Masters Degree in computer science from The University of Texas (Austin). Ray has been working as a full-time blockchain consultant for the past 3 years. In his spare time, Ray enjoys writing for EthereumCryptocurrency.com and other crypto news publications.