A 26-year-old man from Tarnais is being prosecuted for having defrauded dozens of customers attracted to bitcoin investments by nearly 2 million euros.
Has Corentin Decaen gone from a computer genius, even qualified at one time as the future Bill Gates, to a crook? This is what the Castres criminal court had to decide. But the trial of this 26-year-old Mazamétain, prosecuted in particular for fraud, breach of trust, forgery of checks and money laundering, was postponed to June 20, 2023. To the chagrin of the many victims who had made the trip to see the judge who lose a lot of money.
The man is indeed accused of having defrauded more than sixty individuals and a few companies by offering them to invest in cryptocurrency, such as bitcoins. Investments he was supposed to grow. “But he has, in fact, never invested anything and used his clients’ money for his personal expenses”, summarizes Me Caroline Levan, lawyer for one of the victims who evokes a lavish lifestyle of Corentin Decaen who rented mansions in the Tarn, in Fiac for example, with private butler, driver and cook.
The defendant now lives in… Tahiti
But the judges had no choice but to postpone this voluminous file which relates to nearly 2 million euros in damage since the defendant, who now lives in Tahiti, had just been hospitalized. “He made a suicide attempt by massively ingesting medication just before the hearing, explains the president Sandrine Lalande. The law provides that the postponement is of right for medical reasons ”.
His 51-year-old father, also prosecuted in this case, was also absent, claiming that he had just found work in Brittany after years of hardship following his son’s business, of which he himself claims to be a victim. “I hope that these globetrotters of the scam will face their responsibility”, reacted the prosecutor.
Corentin Decaen started talking about him in 2012 when he was only 16 years old by creating a flourishing IT company in Mazamet interesting even… Microsoft! And this gifted and ambitious teenager quickly made a good reputation, even becoming a national speaker for an international foundation, the Sapling Foundation, through which Steve Jobs and Bill Gates went.
A Dubai company would have lost a million euros
But the success story is cut short. He would have been abused by people who would have taken advantage of his inexperience in the business world. He will nevertheless create a new company W Bank in Albi, inspired by the Nickel bank account. Here again the adventure falls through. And it is in Saint-Sulpice that Corentin Decaen launched in 2014, with his father, the company Bitcraft, presented as one of the first consulting companies in investments and financial investments related to cryptocurrencies.
Virtual currencies traded on the Internet, the best known representative of which is bitcoin. “We are not advocating a bitcoin that will make half the world rich. It’s a way to make a return and an interesting capital gain, but there are also big risks of capital losses and volatility, and that’s why support is still necessary “explained Corentin Decaen who hired 5 people.
Employees, some of whom are now among the victims. “He had charisma, he seemed to master his subject, he was sure of himself, perhaps a little too much with hindsight”, testifies one of them who, impressed by his boss’s lifestyle, had decided to entrust him with €1,500 to invest in cryptocurrency. A sum he never saw again. Not to mention his salaries paid with bad checks before the company was placed in compulsory liquidation in 2018 following the investigation by the financial brigade.
Other customers in the four corners of France have lost much more. Some have invested tens of thousands of euros from their savings hoping for juicy returns that Corentin Decaen would have dangled them. A company based in Dubai would even have lost nearly a million euros.
If he recognizes errors and having seen himself too handsome, Corentin Decaen has always defended himself from being a crook. He wouldn’t have intended to harm all of his victims and would just have had his eyes bigger than his stomach.