Google Trends News, financial information. Russian billionaire Vyacheslav Taran of the Libertex Group became the latest crypto executive to die under mysterious circumstances in recent weeks.
The 53-year-old Taran died on Nov. 25, when the helicopter he was in plunged near the French resort town of Villefrance-sur-Mer. The single-engine H130 helicopter flown by an experienced pilot took off from Lausanne in Switzerland and was headed to Monaco at the time of the crash.
Adding to the mystery was a report by the Daily Mail, which divulged that another passenger on the ill-fated helicopter flight canceled at the last minute. Moreover, the accident happened in clear weather. This promoted the deputy public prosecutor of Nice, the prefecture that has jurisdiction over Villefrance-sur-Mer, to note that the involvement of a third party could not be ruled out.
The Ukrainian news agency UNIAN, meanwhile, alleged that Taran was a “billionaire crypto businessman with likely ties to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service” who was “laundering Russian funds through a system of cryptocurrency operations.” The said report by UNIAN offered no proof of this allegation, however.
Taran’s widow responded by categorically denying the allegation as an “absolute and utter lie.”
Two other crypto bigwigs died suddenly over the past month
Taran’s mysterious death was the third in a series involving crypto bigwigs in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone. Two days before the Nov. 25 helicopter crash, Tiantian Kullander of the Hong Kong-based Amber Group died in his sleep on Nov. 23. Kullander, who was only 30 at the time of his death, established Amber Group in 2017, alongside a group of former Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley employees.
A month prior, 29-year-old stable coin innovator Nikolai Mushegian drowned on a Puerto Rico beach after tweeting a disturbing message on Oct. 28. Two days following his tweet that linked government intelligence agencies to a pedophilia ring allegedly running operations in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands, the so-called crypto “genius” behind MakerDAO was found dead.
“CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] and Mossad and pedo elite are running some sex trafficking entrapment blackmail ring out of Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands,” Mushegian’s last tweet read. “They are going to frame me with a laptop planted by my ex-gf who was a spy. They will torture me to death.” (Related: Two days after exposing pedophile ring run by CIA and Mossad, crypto developer found DEAD.)
Interestingly, Mushegian’s family does not believe there was any foul play.
Back in 2018, the deaths of prominent crypto figures Gerald Cotten and Matthew Mellon had sparked conspiracy theories. At the time of their deaths, they left digital wallets containing millions of dollars in tokens with no clues about how to access them.
Cotten, the founder of the now-bankrupt crypto firm QuadrigaCX, died in December 2018 while honeymooning with his wife in India. Nine days into their honeymoon at a hotel in the city of Jaipur, the 30-year-old Cotten complained of acute stomach pain and was later diagnosed with traveler’s diarrhea. He was declared dead after 24 hours, with no autopsy performed.
Mellon, on the other hand, supposedly suffered from an unexpected heart attack while preparing to check into a drug rehabilitation clinic in Mexico. He was the ex-husband of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon.
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