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Co Down company direct to go on trial next year accused of multimillion pound bitcoin fraud

Jawad Yaqub allegedly claimed that he had 'obtained an MPhil and PhD from Queen’s University Belfast'. Photograph: Agency Stock

A Co Down company director is to go on trial next year accused of an international multimillion pound bitcoin fraud after he denied the offences on Thursday.

In Downpatrick Crown Court, 45-year-old Jawad Yaqub entered not guilty pleas to each of the 25 charges against him.

On an indictment covering a time span between February 2016 and October 2018 Yaqub, from Ben Vista Park in Holywood, faces 19 charges of converting criminal property, four counts of fraud by false representation and single charges of fraudulent training and theft.

While the alleged facts surrounding the charges have not been opened in court, the particulars of the fraud charges reveal that according to the Crown case Yaqub was a director in Razormind Limited but carried on his business “for a fraudulent purpose namely to defraud participants in the DeOS crowd sale”.

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The fraud by false representation charges allege that Yaqub claimed Razormind Ltd “is a world leading information technology services company providing a wide range of services to a substantial and diversified client base including corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net worth individuals”.

The list of the “substantial and diversified client base” includes the Bank of America, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Center for Responsible Lending, Chubb, Deutsche Lufthansa, Farmers Mutual Group, Health Partners, Telefonica O2 and Texas Public Schools.

Yaqub also allegedly claimed that he had “obtained an MPhil and PhD from Queen’s University Belfast”.

Meanwhile the theft charge alleges that Yaqub stole 397.504 Bitcoin belonging to Razormind Limited.

At current market value, that would equate to Bitcoin worth more than £8,000,000.

Following the arraignment, defence KC Eilish McDermott said that efforts to instruct a computer expert “will continue at pace and won’t interfere in anyway with the trial date”, scheduled for March 4th next year.