Crypto Hustler Neil de Waal Arrested Amid Fraud Allegations: A Closer Look at the Case

Neil de Waal, promoter of the controversial Gold Standard Bank, broke down in court as bail was set at R15,000. De Waal faces multiple fraud allegations and strict bail conditions amid accusations of running misleading crypto schemes.

In a dramatic turn of events, Neil de Waal, a self-styled network marketing guru and promoter of the Gold Standard Bank (GSB), was arrested on charges of fraud. The Benoni Magistrates Court set his bail at R15,000, with stringent bi-weekly check-ins, following allegations from an investor who claimed De Waal took her money under false pretenses.

De Waal, who presents himself as a lifestyle and wealth entrepreneur on Instagram, is deeply involved in promoting GSB and its related “metaverse” NFT scheme, Lydian World. Both are part of GS Partners (GSP), a network that has come under intense scrutiny from regulators. The G999 cryptocurrency and Swiss Valorem Bank are also linked to GSP, which has been declared a misleading crypto scheme by several US state regulators and warned against by South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

Court documents revealed that De Waal was arrested on May 28, 2024, after an investor from Benoni alleged she had transferred R315,000 to his personal account in May 2023, only to lose it all despite promises of high returns. The Benoni case is one of several, with two additional fraud cases opened against De Waal in Cape Town. Initially, bail was set at R420,000, reflecting concerns about De Waal being a flight risk due to his extensive travel, as showcased on his social media.

The warrant for De Waal’s arrest was issued in December 2023, but he evaded capture until his return from a Bali vacation. The state prosecutor argued against bail, citing the high likelihood of De Waal committing further offenses. However, De Waal’s attorneys countered that his passport had been confiscated and he was responsible for his elderly father’s care. The magistrate ultimately granted bail but imposed strict conditions, requiring De Waal to check in twice weekly at the Kirstenhof police station.

De Waal’s Instagram features him frequently traveling with Brendon Earp-Jones, another prominent figure in promoting GS Partners in South Africa. Despite warnings from the FSCA and other regulators about GSP in 2023, several individuals had raised alarms about GSB, G999, and Lydian World long before, only to face costly lawsuits for their efforts.

During its promotional campaigns, GSP enlisted South African celebrities like Victor Matfield, Lucas Radebe, and Herschelle Gibbs, and internationally, icons like Floyd Mayweather. In 2021, GSP’s affiliates, including GSB owner Josip Heit, sued South African YouTubers Louis Nel, Francois Harris, and Gareth Grobler for defamation, alleging damages of R476.3 million. The YouTubers, who hosted a channel discussing crypto topics, counter-claimed to have GS Partners declared an illegal scheme. The case, highlighting the controversial nature of GSP’s operations, continues.

This unfolding saga underscores the complexities and risks associated with the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency landscape, where regulatory oversight struggles to keep pace with innovative yet potentially deceptive financial schemes.

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