Before the inner workings of the Bernard Madoff Institute of Fraud were widely known, before a fellow named Sam Israel parked his car on the Bear Mountain Bridge, before the wrenching Rajaratnam family drama, before Brian Hunter went fishing, there was Portus Alternative Asset Management, the little Canadian hedge fund that couldn’t. In that more innocent time, the story had it all: more than $100 million missing (Canadian dollars, but still), diamonds, Caribbean bank transfers, a fugitive from justice, Mounties.
That fugitive went by the name of Boaz Manor. After two years on the lam in Israel, Manor inexplicably returned to Canada to spend four years in prison, although the diamonds did not return with him. When he got out, the Ontario Securities Commission banned him from the provincial capital markets. And then, he vanished, until a man looking like a slightly older, more portly and bearded Boaz Manor reappeared in New York to do some light consulting on things like blockchain terminals for hedge funds and other institutional investors, a compliance product, and an ICO (of course). This man didn’t call himself Boaz Manor. But eventually his co-workers found some pictures of Boaz Manor and figured out that “Shaun MacDonald” and Boaz Manor were one and the same. And then they all quit.
Quite frankly, MacDonald/Manor doesn’t see what all the fuss is about.
“People don’t have to disclose any kind of embarrassing or painful situations that they’ve encountered in the past, so long as it does not relate to their current job,” he said on the video. “I’m in a profession right now as a product designer, and as a management consultant in a minor role. Product design is my major focus — that doesn’t require me talking about my past….”
“I typically go these days under the name Shaun MacDonald, and if anybody needs to know that my given name is Boaz Manor, I disclose it,” Manor said. “In this case I was working in a role that did not require that.”
On the other hand, Blockchain Terminal and CG Blockchain sound an awful lot like the kind of companies a Boaz Manor might work for, whatever name he typically goes under these days.
Araya said he and a small group of CG Blockchain workers, primarily in Hong Kong, began poking around for more information on MacDonald, the man they viewed as their boss, after reports from the New York office that Bob Bonomo, a tech and wealth management veteran brought in and billed as president or chief executive, wasn’t coming into the office.
Araya, who was identified as vice-president of government policy in company presentations, also said workers were not getting their full pay, even though the company had raised about $31 million in an initial coin offering in the spring….
“The President title was in name only…. I had no exposure to, and no decision-making authority for, the management of any of the company’s finances, internal operations or personnel,” Bonomo said in a statement sent by his communications handler Bill Fallon of Keating Co. in New York. “That was Shaun MacDonald’s role during the entire tenure of my consulting engagement, a fact which was generally known….”
“Because Mr. Manor had experienced first-hand the absolute devastation that can be wrought within any financial company by the levying of mere accusations, his background helped make ComplianceGuard a product that could help companies prevent such situations,” she wrote….
As for why people working at the firms thought he was in charge, Pardo said: “In his capacity, he had broad discretion to bring together the most talented team possible and then guide them toward development of the product…. Manor does have a very direct and single-minded determination, so it’s not surprising that some people looked upon him as an authority figure, even though he never had any official capacity….”
She said the firm’s “intention has always been and remains to honor our commitments to our vendors, contractors, consultants, and token purchasers.”