Omar Zaki settled with the SEC over allegations related to misrepresentation three years ago and is allegedly behind two other crypto projects which suffered devastating hacks.
Late Friday afternoon, decentralized finance, or DeFi, investigator @zachxbt published a series of tweets accusing Omar Zaki of hiding behind the facade of 0xbrainjar, the anonymous head of product at Composable Finance.
From last November to this February, Composable Finance raised over $167 million through seed funding, as well as crowdloan auctions on the Polkadot (DOT) and Kusama (KSM) parachains. Over 9,000 participants contributed to the DOT crowdloan alone.
zachxbt cited documents from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, which show that Omar Zaki, then a 21-year-old New York resident and graduate of Yale University with a bachelor degree in physics and economics, settled with the SEC over allegations regarding misleading investors, resulting in a civil penalty of $25,000. In addition, Two crypto projects allegedly run by Zaki, Warp Finance, and Force DAO allegedly suffered hacks resulting in $8.367 million in lost funds — some of which was partially recovered.
The DeFi investigator allegedly linked the two identities together by first creating a burner Telegram to message both Zaki’s personal & Anon account, where both messages were “read at the same exact time.” Then, zachxbt reached out to individuals who “confirmed the anon identity link to Yale + physics/Econ background.” Finally, a phone number was claimed by zachxbt to be linked to the developer’s name, but it’s unclear how it connects Zaki’s identity with 0xbrainjar.
zachxbt is renowned in the blockchain community for his sleuthing skills in unmasking the history behind anonymous devs of DeFi projects. Last month, the DeFi sleuth correctly uncovered that the co-founder of defunct exchange QuadrigaCX, Michael Patryn, held the position of chief financial officer at Wonderland. Just a few days later, the Avalanche-based reserve currency shut down after negative publicity surrounding the unmasking caused a sharp divide in the community.
This story is developing and will be updated as more details emerge.
Update: 19:17 ET Feb 19 2022. The headline and text of this article has been updated to note that Omar Zaki was not convicted of any crime and that he settled with the SEC in 2019. Mr. Zaki notes that he settled to end the legal process, and did not agree with the SEC’s position on the allegations.