Once again, a Bankster “suicide” has been ruled as cause of death before the investigation is complete.
These Bankster deaths are so disturbing on so many levels, from the sheer number reported, to the synchroneous & swift “suicide” rulings by law enforcement before the bodies are even cold.
Here’s the report regarding Autumn Ratke a 28-year-old American CEO of bitcoin exchange firm First Meta was found dead in her Singapore apartment on Feb. 28.
Local media are calling it a suicide, but Singapore officials are waiting for toxicology test results. Ratke formerly worked with Apple and other Silicon Valley tech firms on developing digital payment systems.
“The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke.” - Statement on First Meta website
According To Daily Mail
The American CEO of an exchange for the troubled bitcoin digital currency has been found dead after a suspected suicide at her home in Singapore.
Wisconsin native, Autumn Radtke, 28, was discovered inside her apartment on February 28 and officials in the South East Asian city state are now waiting for toxicology test results to determine the exact cause of death.
Douglas Adams, the non-executive chairman of First Meta confirmed that his colleague had passed away in a statement which said the company was ‘shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke.’
The death of Radtke is the latest piece of bad news to hit the crisis-ridden bitcoin currency following the collapse of the Japanese-based Mt Gox exchange last week after $400m went missing and the closure of the Flexcoin bank yesterday in Canada after computer hackers robbed $600,000.
Tragic: Autumn Radtke, a 28-year-old American CEO of bitcoin exchange firm First Meta, was found dead in her Singapore apartment on Feb. 28
According to First Meta’s website, Radke had lived in Singapore since January 2012.
‘The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke. Our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends and loved ones. Autumn was an inspiration to all of us and she will be sorely missed.’
Autumn Radtke began work in the technology sector at the age of 22 as a consultant for Virgin Charter, where she worked with chairman and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Prior to her becoming CEO at First Meta in 2012, Radtke worked as a freelancer with Apple to bring cloud-computing software to John Hopkins University and Los Alamos Labs.
She then took up roles at tech start-ups Xfire and Geodelic systems, companies that hat worked closely with giants such as Dell and Verizon, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Friends who worked with her in the past praised her to the hilt on her LinkedIn profile.
‘Autumn Radtke offers a rare combination of business smarts and grace,’ Brendan Kenney wrote about her time at Geodelic Systems.
‘She possesses an amazing ability to connect with people in a real way, building the type of confidence, trust and relationships that open up doors and get business done.’
The exact reason that may have caused Radtke to commit suicide is not yet known, nor is when the police will release their official report to establish the cause of death.
Entrepreneurs: British billionaire Richard Branson with bitcoin exchange First Meta CEO Autumn Radtke
First Meta offers an exchange where users can buy and sell virtual currencies such as the troubled bitcoin.
Forbes magazine reported in 2012 that the company received $466,000 in funding from Sunnyvale, California-based business accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center and Singapore’s National Research Foundation.
On February 10, Radtke posted a link to an essay entitled ‘The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship’ and commented obliquely that ‘Everything has it’s price’.
In comments posted on the day her death was announced, her friend Krystal Choo, who founded the online travel firm ZipTrip, said that ‘This exact post has been killing me. I should have known in a way she was reaching out. I failed her.’
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Tragic: Autumn Radtke’s official cause of death has not been confirmed to be suicide – although police souces have said that this is strongly suspected
Sadness: First Meta CEO Autumn Radtke (left) with her friend Katie Stone (right) who wrote an emotional tribute to her friend who was found dead in her Singapore apartment on February 28
Radtke’s friend, model Katie Stone posted a heartfelt tribute onto Facebook to her friend who passed away.
TRAGIC BEGINNING TO THE YEAR: NINE DEATHS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES IN THE SPACE OF LAST SIX WEEKS
1 William Broeksmit, a 58-year-old former senior executive for Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in at home after apparently taking his own life in South Kensington in central London, on January 26
2 Karl Slym, the 51 year old Tata Motors managing director was discovered dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok on January 27
3 Gabriel Magee, the 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, whodied after plummeting from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters in London’s Canary Wharf on January 27
4 Mike Dueker, the 50-year-old chief economist of US bank Russell Investments was discovered dead near to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State on January 31
5 Richard Talley, the 57 year old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead on February 4 after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.
6 Tim Dickenson, who was a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, died in late January, in as yet unexplained circumstances
7 Ryan Henry Crane, the 37 year old executive at JP Morgan died in an alleged suicide just a few weeks ago on February 3 at his home in Connecticut
8 Li Junjie, 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped from the JP Morgan HQ in Hong Kong on February 19
9 James Stuart, the former National Bank of Commerce CEO was found dead in Scottsdale, Arizona on the morning of February 19. The cause of death has yet to be announced
Calling her ‘my first friend in LA’, Stone said that Radtke took her ‘under her wing’ as she recalled spending time with the bitcoin entrepreneur in Singapore.
‘I remember sitting on that tree stump with you in that park in Singapore a few months back, one of the nightly walks we would take when sleep was hard to come by and staring at that giant willow tree that was probably a thousand years old…just sitting in silence and taking it in,’ wrote Stone in her emotional Facebook post.
‘At home in nature. Appreciative of what we take for granted. You were just smarter that way than anybody else. You were a sister to me and I am at a loss.’
Despite Radtke’s decision to base herself in South East Asia, the region has not taken well to bitcoin or digital currency exchanges..
On the day that Radtke was discovered in her Singapore apartment, Vietnam’s communist government said trading in bitcoin and other electronic currencies is illegal, and warned its citizens not to use or invest in them.
A central bank statement late on Thursday didn’t spell out penalties for those who disobeyed the instruction, but it said that virtual currencies are linked to money laundering and other illegal activities.
The collapse of the major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox in Tokyo this week has drawn renewed attention to the currency.
Late last year, China banned its banks and payment systems from handling bitcoin. Thailand earlier put a blanket ban on its use.
Currencies like bitcoin are unnerving financial regulators in Asia and elsewhere because they are outside of their control. Established banks don’t like them because people can send the money around the world with any fees.
Indeed as Bitcoin lurched from one disaster to another, on Wednesday, Flexcoin, a Canada-based bitcoin bank, said it was closing down after losing bitcoins worth about $600,000 to a hacker attack enabled by flaws in its software code.
Humbled: Mark Karpeles, chief executive of Mt Gox, bows at the start of a news conference at the Tokyo District Court in Tokyo, as the company filed for bankruptcy after losing 850,000 Bitcoins
Flexcoin said in a message on its website that all 896 bitcoins stored online were stolen on Sunday.
Its collapse came after Mt. Gox, once the world’s dominant bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan and said it may have lost some 850,000 bitcoins worth $400m due to hacking.
‘As Flexcoin does not have the resources, assets, or otherwise to come back from this loss, we are closing our doors immediately,’ Flexcoin said.
It later posted an update on its site saying that the attack exploited a flaw in its code on transfers between users and involved inundating the system with simultaneous requests to move coins between accounts.
‘Flexcoin has made every attempt to keep our servers as secure as possible, including regular testing,’ it said, adding it had repelled thousands of attacks over the past few years. ‘But in the end, this was simply not enough.’
The Alberta, Canada-based firm, which said it is working with law enforcement agencies to trace the source of the hack, said it would return bitcoins stored offline, or in ‘cold storage’, to users.
Cold storage coins are held in computers not connected to the internet and therefore cannot be hacked.
Flexcoin said on February 25 it was not affected by Mt. Gox’s closure. ‘While the Mt. Gox closure is unfortunate, we at Flexcoin have not lost anything,’ it had tweeted then.
Last week, prominent bitcoin supporters said the apparent collapse of the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange was an isolated case of mismanagement that will weed out ‘bad actors.’
But the setback raised serious questions about bitcoin’s tenuous status and even more tenuous future. At least one supporter said the blow could be fatal to bitcoin’s quest for acceptance by the public.
Fluctuating: The current value of bitcoin on Wednesday 5 March currently stands at $654 – which is a rebound from a low of $470 last week after Mt. Gox announced its huge losses
The collapse followed the resignation Sunday of CEO Mark Karpeles, known as the ‘French Marck Zuckerberg’ from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking wider use of the exotic currency.
Mt. Gox’s origins are rooted in fantasy instead of finance. The service originally specialized in trading colorful cards featuring mythical wizards and derives its name from a game. The initials stand for, ‘Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange.’
Since its creation in 2009, bitcoin has become popular among tech enthusiasts, libertarians and risk-seeking investors because it allows people to make one-to-one transactions, buy goods and services and exchange money across borders without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties. Criminals like bitcoin for the same reasons.
For various technical reasons, it’s hard to know just how many people worldwide own bitcoins, but the currency attracted outsize media attention and the fascination of millions as an increasing number of large retailers such as Overstock.com began to accept it.
Bitcoin trader Kolin Burges stands in protest outside an office building housing Mt Gox in Tokyo after claiming he has lost nearly $300,000 in the company’s collapse
Speculative investors have jumped into the bitcoin fray, too, sending the currency’s value fluctuating wildly in recent months. In December, the value of a single bitcoin hit an all-time high of $1,200. In the aftermath of the Mt. Gox collapse last Tuesday, one bitcoin stood at around $470.
The price has now recovered to $650 dollars.
Central banks across the globe have been hesitant to recognize bitcoin as a form of money, and last Tuesday’s vanishing act isn’t helping.
On Friday, emerged from hiding and appeared before Japanese TV news cameras in Tokyo, bowing deeply for several minutes. It was the first time he’d broken cover since his exchange, Mt Gox, shut its website last Wednesday.
Major software flaws at Mt Gox allowed the huge theft to go unnoticed for years. As soon as Mt Gox was set up, it appears it fell victim to one of the largest bank heists ever with 1 out of every 20 Bitcoins in the world vanishing.
‘I am sorry for the troubles I have caused all the people,’ Karpeles said in Japanese at a Tokyo court.
He offered little comfort to thousands of customers facing huge losses when he said of the money: ‘Well, technically speaking it’s not lost just yet, just temporarily unavailable’.
Kyodo News said debts at Mt Gox totalled more than 6.5 billion yen ($65 million), surpassing its assets.
The loss is a giant setback to the currency’s image because its backers have promoted Bitcoin as safe from counterfeit and theft.
Central bankers around the world have warned about the virtual currency bitcoin. Prices have fluctuated as more merchants accept it as payment and investors are pouring money into new bitcoin-related ventures despite increasing high profile exchange thefts
Karpeles and his staff have faced protests outside their offices and the CEO has personally faced death threats.
The threats were driven by fears he could have even run off with the money as he had made no public appearance since the exchange shut down.
One user wrote on a Bitcoin forum ‘pay to have Mark Karpeles killed’. Another wrote ‘Open Letter to Mark Karpeles: You are a Dead Man’. Both posts have been deleted.
Paul Avel, who knew Karpeles when he was a pupil at the Claude Bernard Lycee, in Paris, said: ‘Mark was a very straight guy – brilliant at what he did, and always wanting to be the best,’
Mr Avel, added: ‘Mark always dreamed of being the French Mark Zuckerberg. He spent all his spare time locked away in his room working on new programmes.
‘The guy’s a genius, but kind with it. He’s a gentle lad – there’s no way he’d do anything wrong on purpose.’
ECHOES OF ANOTHER SUSPICIOUS AMERICAN SUICIDE IN SINGAPORE: THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF SHANE TODD
In June of last year, American engineer, Shane Todd, 31, was found dead in his Singapore apartment in mysterious circumstances.
Authorities in Singapore ruled that Todd committed suicide but his family believe that he was murdered because of research into sensitive technology.
Todd’s parents have said they believe he may have been murdered over his research in the U.S. into material used to make heat-resistant semiconductors, a technology with both civilian and military applications.
They said they believed the evidence of suicide was faked and that officials had not followed protocol in the investigation.
His parents alluded to corporate espionage and said documents he had backed up from his work computer included a draft of a project outline between Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics – Shane Todd’s former employer – and Chinese telecom giant Huawei on the development of a device that utilized gallium nitride.
The heat-resistant material has civilian uses in products like LED screens and cellphone towers, and military applications possibly for radar and satellite systems.
Mr Karpeles, who was born in Dijon, eastern France, but moved to Paris when he was a teenager, describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as a ‘technical geek’.
He arrived in Japan in June 2009 as a 23-year-old with only his hard drives and Tibane and immediately rode the wave of popularity surging around Bitcoin.
When he moved to Tokyo full time in 2009, and posted another blog entry saying: ‘I do computer-related work (a programmer); my goal is world domination.’
Japan’s financial regulators have been reluctant to intervene in the Mt Gox situation, saying they don’t have jurisdiction over something that’s not a real currency.
They pointed to the Consumer Affairs Agency, which deals with product safety, as one possible place where disgruntled users may go for help.
The agency’s minister Masako Mori urged extreme caution about using or investing in Bitcoins.
The agency has been deluged with calls about Bitcoins since earlier this year.
‘We’re at a loss for how to help them,’ said Yuko Otsuki, who works in the agency’s counselling department.
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