According to the Miami New Times, Cryptsy founder Paul Vernon, otherwise known as “Big Vern,” has spoken to the publication while in hiding. The New Times ran a report on Cryptsy last week, and according to Vernon’s wife he dipped off to China with a girlfriend. Apparently, after this article was published, Vernon reached out to the news outlet willing to talk and answer questions.
Cryptsy Owner Paul Vernon Speaks
Bitcoin.com previously reported on the now defunct cryptocurrency exchange Cryptsy based out of Delray Beach, Florida. Over the course of this incident, many rumors and accusations flew around the web about the exchange and its owner, Paul Vernon. Since then, other than unconfirmed, tales not much has come out about Vernon or his whereabouts.
After last week’s article in the New Times, the publication was emailed by someone claiming to be Vernon wanting to discuss the situation. The so-called Vernon would not provide the interviewer with photo identification, but “used an old Yahoo email account that was formerly attributed to Vernon,” the New Times reports.
Vernon tells the publication he regrets not being able to handle the situation right away when he first knew about the claimed hack against the exchange, and he decided to reach out and clear the air.
Vernon is being held accountable for the hack in a lawsuit initiated by Broward County attorney David Silver, and many people believe “Big Vern” is to blame for the incident. However, the person claiming to be Vernon declined to answer the New Times’ questions regarding his alleged involvement in the theft.
When asked if the company’s hack story was entirely accurate, the person claiming to be Vernon states:
“Yes. I was awoken the morning of the attack with alerts of moved funds from the safe wallets. The individual(s) who did it had been planning it for some time, as they had access into the system for a while, possibly months. It was several wallets and not just bitcoin and litecoin. I shut down all wallets and immediately contacted the wallet manager “Mullick” and the systems admin to check to make sure it wasn’t them. We then promptly met at the office to start investigating. It took us a couple of weeks to determine what exactly happened.”
The New Times then asked Vernon why he and the Cryptsy organization continued to tell people through blog posts and Twitter that everything was ok. He replied that, at the time, the company was doing extremely well and the plan was to pay back the funds with revenue, but Vernon says the fall in bitcoin’s price and volume prevented that course of action.
When asked if he felt he betrayed customers by not being upfront, Vernon says:
“Of course. At the time I had two choices, disclose and shut down or try to continue running and reacquire user funds. Because we were doing well at the time, I attempted option #2.”
The New Times also explained how attorney David Silver believed there wasn’t a hack, to which Vernon responded by saying that he just doesn’t understand that theory. The interviewee states the former wallet manager is working with officials and knows all the details regarding the hack. The person claiming to be Paul Vernon claimed innocence throughout the entire interview and explains how the company made revenue within the discussion.
There are no other details regarding whether or not Vernon will return to face the law or try and make amends with customers. The person behind the interview may not even be legitimate. However, if it really is Vernon, it may shed more light on the ongoing investigation.
Bitcoin.com will be sure to keep our readers informed of this case if more evidence comes to light.
What do you think about the interview with Paul Vernon? Do you think it was really him? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Images courtesy of Crypto-Graphics.com, Twitter, and Cryptsy Archived Photos.