Accused of fraud, Eran Eyal, former chief executive of Springleap. Photo: Youtube.

CAPE TOWN - A South African tech entrepreneur Eran Eyal, former chief executive of Springleap and founder of Shopin, is facing fraud charges in the US over allegedly getting money from investors through false representations.

According to a statement published by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, Eyal allegedly stole $600 000 (R8 million) from investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company.

“As we allege, this massive securities fraud scheme bilked investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Underwood in the statement. “Defrauding New Yorkers through false representations and fabrications about a business will not be tolerated by my office.”

Eyal was also charged with computer crimes for allegedly hiring a computer hacker to web scrape a database of creative professionals.

He also allegedly lied about his company's high-profile clients, about an advisory board and 180 000 creative professionals on the Springleap platform.

“In reality, Eyal allegedly hired a freelance computer hacker to web-scrape computer data from a legitimate online portfolio website in order to obtain pedigree information for creative professionals to falsely inflate his existing list", said Underwood in a statement. 

Additionally, Eyal allegedly lied that Springleap was featured as the tech magazine Fast Company’s 7th most innovative company in the world.

If you not sure who Eral is, Here are some facts about him: 

  1. He was born on 15 March 1975 in Durban and attended Carmel College. 
  2. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has BA degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal
  3. According to his Facebook profile, he studied law at Unisa and then he founded Springleap in 2007.
  4. His LinkedIn profile also shows that in 1999, he completed a Graphic Design at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. 
  5. He has co-founded crowd-sourcing social media platform and mobile phone maker iDea. 
  6. His most recent venture is Shopin, a retail technology company focused on blockchain technology.
  7. His Linkedin profile shows that he is an investor and advisor for an analytics company called Vault Analytics. 
  8. In 2016, his profile shows that he was the head of business development of a computer software company called Glassbox Digital 

Eyal has been charged with the following lists of charges:

  • Three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a class C felony),
  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a class D felony), 
  • one count of Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material in the First Degree (a class E felony),
  • one count of Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material (a Class E felony),
  • one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a class E felony), and 
  • four counts of Securites Fraud under the Martin Act (a class E felony). 

"If convicted of the top count charged, the defendant faces up to 5 to 15 years in prison and he was arraigned before the Honorable Judge Danny Chun in Kings County Supreme Court", said Underwood.