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Just out of jail, SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, has finally spoken. The former Springleap founder says he’s “innocent of these malicious allegations and rumours”.
Eyal — who was yesterday released from Rikers Island prison in New York after he appeared in a court in the city and posted bail — today told Ventureburn via Facebook Messenger that he has “been through three weeks of hell” and that he would comment “soon on everything”.
His bail was set at a whopping $250 000. “Literally been through hell. Rikers Island is no picnic,” he said. “Been sleeping next to murderers and rapists,” he continued, adding that he was remanded in a cell with 50 other people during those three weeks.
“Most allegations can be disproven with simple Google searches. I’m innocent of these malicious allegations and rumours,” he said.
When asked if his former co-founder Eric Edelstein is involved in some way in the allegations of fraud, Eyal commented that Edelstein “has nothing to do with this”.
Most allegations can be disproven with simple Google searches says Springleap’s Eran Eyal on fraud charges
When Ventureburn asked if their journalist could contact him by telephone, Eyal responded saying “at this stage I don’t even have a telephone”.
“I worked 100-hour weeks to build Springleap and Shopin. Anyone that worked with me can vouch for that. I put every aspect of my personal life on hold for many years and haven’t seen my family in 1.5 years. I never missed a salary payment date. This is all thoroughly distasteful,” he said.
“I also helped dozens of entrepreneurs with no request for compensation over the past years. Not the actions of a person accused of these things,” he commented.
Eyal was arrested on 23 August and charged the following day by the New York Attorney General with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. If convicted of the top count charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
According to charges, between 2014 and 2015, Eyal allegedly attracted investors to Springleap through a series of false representations about Springleaps’s management team, advisory board, creative professionals and client base. The US District Attorney emphasised in her statement last month that Eyal is innocent until proven guilty.
Shopin, the US startup founded by Eyal has since removed the former Springleap founder from his position as CEO of the US company and replaced him with an interim head (see this story).
This is a developing story.
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Featured image: Former Springleap founder Eran Eyal (Facebook)