Cryptsy Founder Paul Vernon Disappeared, Along with Millions of His Customers' Cash

David Silver Quotes:

At the end of the day, this is a crime story that's not over yet because the money is still missing. I don't believe a legitimate business tells its clients a year and a half later that $5 million is missing and, while the money is allegedly missing, takes out $2 million to buy themselves a house in cash.

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Two men burst into a suburban Delray Beach office park on a muggy weekday in August 2014, demanding to talk to the CEO. They were there to get answers. 

In a beige office lobby decorated with abstract IKEA-style art, their target crossed his arms and smiled nervously. Dressed in an oversize navy polo shirt and dad jeans, he tilted his head, listening to the visitors' questions about his quickly growing tech company. As they filmed on a cell-phonecamera, the two guys asked him to introduce himself.

"I'm Paul Vernon — Big Vern — of Cryptsy," said the CEO, whose company was an online marketplace where users could trade their Bitcoins — a virtual form of money — for a growing number of digital imitators with names like Litecoin and Darkcoin.

Business was booming. In barely a year, Cryptsy had amassed 250,000 users trading millions of dollars, and Vernon was flying cross-country to speak at conferences from New York to San Francisco. His firm had outgrown its first office and moved its dozen or so employees into this Mediterranean-style building. Soon, Vernon himself would upgrade to a million-dollar Delray Beach mansion.


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