An unknown person or a group of people created a fake Telegram ICO project with the same name as the original, ‘Telegram Open Network’. The original Initial Coin Offering (ICO) had raised over $1.7 billion, which was a record for the amount of money that had been raised in an ICO, ever.
However, this raised a lot of suspicion as the company is registered in the United Kingdom. The real Telegram founder Pavel Durov is actually a Russian entrepreneur, while the ‘sham’ one’s address is based in 91 Waterloo Rd, Lambeth, London, United Kingdom, SE1 8RT. It also mentions, that the date of the company’s registration was on February 28, 2018.
According to a document posted by this ‘sham’ company, it says, the number of shares allotted is 100,000 and the nominal value of the same is GBP 8,000,000,00. Interestingly, the document also mentions that currently there is no ‘Person of Significant Control’ in relation to the company.
However, the official handle of the real Telegram confirmed on Twitter that the company was fake.
This entry is fake (https://t.co/vs6ZKJyiCG). Most likely a prank or scam, no such company was registered by Pavel.
— Telegram Messenger (@telegram) April 6, 2018
Although disturbing, but surprisingly, it is not very difficult to create or register a fake company in the United Kingdom. In a report by the Fraud Advisory Panel, it stated that there are nearly 44 cases every month relating to fraudulent companies. It further adds, that in 2011-12, 165 investigations were undertaken by the Insolvency Service compared to 3,523 complaints (though a complaint may not always be capable of being investigated under Company Act powers), and 355 winding up orders were obtained.
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