Stefanos Papanastasiou, the founder of Australian online mattress retailer OzMattress, is facing legal charges lodged by a former customer who purportedly lost over AUD$21 million, according to a report published March 19 by local daily newspaper The Age.
According to property developer Savvas Alexiadis’ allegations, Papanastasiou allegedly owes him millions, both in fiat and crypto, after convincing Alexiadis to invest in the development of an algorithm which Papanastasiou touted would be capable of generating massive revenue through trading Bitcoin and Ethereum-based cryptos. As Alexiadis detailed, he previously transferred over AUD$2.7 million (nearly $2 million) into Papanastasiou’s trading account, in addition to an unspecified amount of Bitcoin, which he also deposited into Papanastasiou crypto wallet, reaching a total of AUD$2.1 million (nearly $1.5 million), according to legal documents filed before the Supreme Court of Victoria state.
The lawsuit further cited previous messages purportedly sent by Papanastasiou, stating:
“Sam, don’t get caught up in the details. Leave it to me. Let me know password login for ACX [trading account]. I’ll deal with whatever funds are in there … Eyes on the prize Sam. Understood? Got your back.”
Moreover, Alexiadis also alleged that he was asked by Papanastasiou to transfer $450,000 (nearly $320,000) to a mattress supplier in Thomastown, AUD$40,000 (around $28,000) to his spouse’s account, as well as AUD$35,000 (roughly $25,000) to his sister’s account, promising to send Alexiadis the equivalent amount in digital assets.
Papanastasiou and wife Shalini Ganapathy backed out of purchasing an AUD$5.44 million property in December 2017, at the time Bitcoin’s value had peaked at nearly $20,000, the report noted.
As it stands, OzMattress’ official website now appears to have gone offline.
Citing court documents, the report further indicated that Papanastasiou neither provided details of the trading activity nor did he comply with repeated requests to pay back the amount invested by his clients.
In response to the allegations, Papanastasiou reportedly stated:
“The Supreme Court action is new to me and I intend to defend myself against his claim as he has been compensated in excess of $2.7m […] Sam [Alexadais] and his associates have a lot to answer for as the truth of events is vastly different and far more sinister.”
In addition to running OzMattress, Papanastasiou also served as Bitcoin dealer to former Australian Football League coach and accused drug trafficker Mark Thompson, who also reportedly invested more than one million AUD to Papanastasiou’s project.