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OpenSea ‘unaware’ of any involvement of former exec in $60M rug pull

Nonfungible token (NFT) platform OpenSea says it is unaware of any evidence pointing to a former employee being involved in the infamous AnubisDAO rug pull in 2021 following new accusations on social media.

In an Oct. 6 thread on X, the anonymous account NFT Ethics tagged OpenSea asking them to respond to its accusations that their former head of ventures Kevin Pawlak is linked to the pseudonymous identity “0xSisyphus” and was involved in “various dubious business dealings.”

1/ Dear @OpenSea, what do you think of the fact that your Head of Ventures, Kevin Pawlak, has been involved in various very dubious business dealings (e.g. Anubis) and pump & dump schemes under his pseudonymous identity @0xSisyphus (& 0xMagellan)? pic.twitter.com/GzIVLJirLE

— NFT Ethics (@NFTethics) October 6, 2023

Both NFT Ethics and blockchain analytics account Lookonchain alleged that 0xSisyphus, and thus Pawlak, played a key role in hyping the AnubisDAO project to investors, shortly before the project transferred the freshly-raised funds to a series of external wallets.

The thread by NFT Ethics attempted to explain that Pawlak’s alleged role in the AnubisDAO rug pull was premeditated with other developers and laundered the proceeds through the memecoin Pepe (PEPE).

However, an OpenSea spokesperson told Cointelegraph that they were unaware of Pawlak’s involvement in any such activities, but also noted that Palwak had a “limited scope” while working at the company.

“Kevin is a former employee who left the company in June of 2023. He had a limited scope while at OpenSea — where he worked in a non-management position. We have no awareness of his involvement with the projects in question.”

“Furthermore, we have no connection to, or information about, the projects in question, as they took place before his time at OpenSea,” said the company representative.

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In October 2021, AnubisDAO raised 13,556 ETH — worth $60 million at the time — from crypto investors. However, some 20 hours later, the funds were sent to several different wallet addresses, resulting in an instant loss for the investors.

Blockchain sleuth ZachXBT also appeared to throw cold water on the accusations, saying the thread was “one of the most mid-curve” things he’d read.

He added that much of the thread seemed to be basing many assumptions about 0xSisyphus’ role in the alleged rug pull using “unrelated events without facts.”

That thread is one of the most midcurve things I have read. They make many assumptions off unrelated events without facts.

FixedFloat does tons in volume and same with the other exchanges mentioned. Here is the source address of the April 2023 FixedFloat insider PEPE buys I… https://t.co/0kG2M7DNVi

— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) September 29, 2023

0xSisyphus is also understood to have once offered a 1,000 ETH bounty to anyone who could identify the wallet address that drained the pool, and engaged law enforcement in both the United States and Hong Kong, which could further raise doubts about the new accusations.

Related: AnubisDAO’s rug-pulled 13.5K ETH washes away on Tornado Cash

“Is Sisyphus at fault for gross negligence for lying about the Anubis team multisig? Absolutely 100%. Probably a civil case possible for victims,” wrote Zach.

Zach noted that negligence in this case is very different to stealing the money from one’s own project. “[As far as I know] Sisyphus was the only team member speaking with the [Department of Homeland Security].”

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“You really think they did not look at him first and monitor his activity?” asked Zach.

Zach explained that the two actors most likely responsible for the loss of funds during the AnubisDAO scandal were two pseudonymous users known only as “Beerus” and “Ersan.”

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