A crypto exec's resume listed Goldman, Lending Club and RBC. He didn't mention a prison break. Now a bankruptcy examiner claims he's an escapee.

james alexander cred inc fraud 4x3

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To nearly everyone who met him, James Alexander seemed legit. His resume listed stints at Goldman, RBC and Nomura. He claimed to have started a Swiss merchant bank, and to have worked in business development roles at funds and some of the hottest names in fintech, like Lending Club and Prosper. 

“He seemed relatively well-connected,” said Miles Cowan, who worked with Alexander at the defunct startup Ldger. “He knew people at various banks. It helped us get in touch with credit committees.”

But according to a recently filed report by a bankruptcy examiner, it was all a facade. On March 8, an examiner looking into the failure of Cred – Alexander’s most recent company – claimed that Alexander had escaped from a UK prison in 2008 while serving time for fraud. His oversight of Cred’s assets is currently under scrutiny, and the company’s creditors have asked a court to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Alexander’s current whereabouts are unknown to Insider. His lawyer Gary Lincenberg declined to comment and another of his attorneys, Geoffrey Grivner, didn’t respond to an emailed list of questions.

It’s not clear which parts of Alexander’s back story are real. A spokesman for Webster University, whose Geneva campus Alexander says on LinkedIn he graduated from, says a James N. Alexander did graduate from that campus in 1992. In a recent deposition, Alexander said he had no middle name.

Goldman, where Alexander claimed to work at the structured equity products desk in London in the early 1990s, said no one by that name worked in the role described on his LinkedIn page. Alexander said in a deposition that he was an intern at Goldman. After working at Goldman, he claims to have worked at RBC and Nomura; both of those companies didn’t respond to requests for comment.

For much of the 2000s, Alexander claimed to have worked at a company called Alternative Capital Associates, described in his biographies as a “Swiss merchant bank.” But according to the examiner, Alexander was convicted in December 2007 for crimes “related to illegal money transfers” and sentenced to three years and four months. Insider has been unable to obtain the underlying case records. On October 15, 2008,”there was a prison break” at HMP Ford, where Alexander was incarcerated, and he escaped, according to the examiner.

The examiner linked to a news article listing escapees from HMP Ford, an “open prison” that generally allows detainees to come and go and even work outside jobs. The only detainee listed as having escaped on October 15, 2008 is James Demorges. The examiner also cited a name-change document filed in Minnesota; Minnesota state court records show that one James Alexander changed his name in 1994 to James Alexander De Morges, court spokesman Kyle Christopherson told Insider.

A headshot photo of James Demorges released by police in England shows facial features that appear similar to those in photos posted by Alexander on Facebook and LinkedIn.

And in one photo on his Facebook page, Alexander even seemed to make a wry joke about a criminal past. On a 2015 photo of Alexander standing next to what looks like a police officer, a friend commented, “so elegant as usual.” Alexander’s response: “No handcuffs, errrrr as usual.”

Since 2011, Alexander’s LinkedIn indicates he has worked at Prosper Marketplace, Lending Club and Colchis Capital Management, among others. Colchis said he inflated his title and responsibilities; instead of being a partner, which his LinkedIn claims, he had a marketing and investor-relations role, Colchis told Insider.

“It is our standard procedure to perform background checks on employees, which was in place during the time of his employment,” Clara Kim, a Colchis representative, said in an email. She said the company was unaware of the bankruptcy examiner’s report until contacted by Insider. 

Prosper and Lending Club didn’t respond to comment requests, and the consumer-products investment firm CircleUp, where Alexander also claims to have worked, declined to comment.

Another employer Alexander mentions on his LinkedIn profile had its own checkered history. The CEO of Direct Lending Investments LLC, a company where Alexander’s LinkedIn profile indicates he worked as Head of Research for a period in 2016, was arrested last fall on federal charges alleging that he fraudulently inflated the value of assets under management. The CEO’s scheme went back as far as 2014, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. There’s no indication that Alexander was involved.

Alexander has admitted to some people who know him that he was convicted of a crime, according to a person familiar with the matter. But Alexander said that he was not a fugitive, the source told Insider.

Alexander has apparently had no trouble travelling domestically or abroad since his alleged escape from HMP Ford, which is about 15 miles west of Brighton, on England’s south coast. Cred’s creditors said he used company funds for trips to Istanbul and to the ski resorts of Vail, Colorado.

Alexander’s latest troubles arose during bankruptcy proceedings for Cred, a lender that offered dollars to borrowers in exchange for cryptocurrency collateral. Cred’s “disorganized and incomplete” recordkeeping and informal procedures left it vulnerable to volatility, and it began to crumble when the price of bitcoin plunged in March 2020, ultimately filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, according to the examiner.

Cred has accused Alexander of misappropriating the company’s bitcoin and cash while serving as chief capital officer, a role he was hired for in 2018. The company went bankrupt last year, saying it had lost about 800 bitcoin – now worth about $44 million – that it had placed with an outside asset manager called Quantcoin that Alexander claimed to have vetted.

Cred said in a bankruptcy filing that its litigation with Alexander used up the company’s money and its executives’ attention. In a video deposition taken in February as part of the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, Alexander said he couldn’t remember his first job out of college. Asked nine times what his responsibilities were at Cred, Alexander only responded, “financial services.” 

Asked about taking crypto and cash from Cred, he said that he withdrew $60,000 in cash from a Cred account, but said it was to pay taxes and that it was “kept safe.” He later clarified that he meant it was sitting in his Mercedes. 

Later in the deposition, Alexander insisted on a brief rest, saying he was still recuperating from a case of COVID-19. “Joe, I’m asking for a break, and you’re being really inhumane,” he told Joe Evans of McDermott Will & Emery, one of the lawyers questioning him. 

The two sides agreed to a break. Alexander used it to file for personal bankruptcy.

Ten minutes later, Alexander’s lawyer Geoffrey Grivner returned. “Counsel, I’ve just been advised that Mr. Alexander has filed for personal bankruptcy,” he said. “Our position in light of that filing is that an automatic stay is in place such that this deposition cannot go forward.”

In his personal bankruptcy filings, Alexander has estimated both his assets and liabilities to be in the range of $1 million to $10 million. His assets include a $1.2 million home with a mortgage in the Los Angeles area, a car, cryptocurrency, and some insurance claims.

About a month later, the Cred bankruptcy examiner’s report presented evidence that Alexander had a criminal past. Now, Cred’s creditors are seeking his arrest. Alexander’s response was partly unsealed April 6; in the unsealed portion, his lawyers say he didn’t intentionally violate court orders to produce financial records and turn over Cred assets, but the prison-break allegation isn’t mentioned. 

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