CEO of Valour Inc. – Russell Starr, Orchestrates Scheme with Network Marketers Costing Shareholders More than $150M in Losses
CEO, Russell Starr of Valour Inc. (DEFTF) may be implicated by authorities as the chief architect of an international fraud scheme tied to an Arizona-based network marketing group, costing investors upwards in $150 million in losses to date.
Based on confirmed evidence reviewed and vetted, Starr self-anointed himself as Executive Chairman and CEO of Valour (formerly known as DeFi Technologies, Inc.) and remains the single largest shareholder of Valour. Starr had direct ties to insiders, including founder Wouter Witvoet and Dianna Biggs, and forced his way into power to protect his own shares. But his aspirations did not end there.
Starr seized the helm to further exploit and conspire with a group of highly unsophisticated network marketing promoters, based in Arizona, California, and Nevada, to illegally promote the artificial buying of Valour stock. And indeed, they did. This group of marketers not only lacked investment acumen, holding no FINRA credentials as licensed broker dealers, but used their vast network of vitamin and soap salesmen to artificially inflate shares of Valour using inside information provided by Starr and other executives.
Joshua Denne of Scottdale Arizona, along with Brian Quinn in California, and Darryl Drake in Nevada, were paid bribes by Starr in excess of $10 million dollars to effectuate the buying of more than $30 million in stock.
These illegally paid commissions violate numerous securities laws in both Canada and the United States and amounted to roughly 45% in illicit commissions used by the promoters to live lavishly; buying a fleet of Rolls Royce’s, private jets, jewelry, and multi-million-dollar homes, while investors lost nearly 80% of their money to date.
Worser still, victimized investors were largely friends and family of the promoters, and were unaware that Denne, Quinn, and Drake were being paid millions as their shares fast tumbled within months when the bottom fell out.Tensions began to flare when investors learned of Starr’s plans to jump from Valour’s sinking ship and safely land as CEO of a successor company formed to take over the assets of its failed predecessor, SDK Meta LLC.
SDK, a Nevada-based private company co-owned by Denne. SDK Meta was one of many shill investments used by Starr and Valour as a smokescreen to cover up illegal bribes to Denne, Quinn and Drake. Starr admits as much in evidence obtained.
Communications reviewed indicate Starr intended to liquidate his declining Valour shares after taking on his new post, leaving investors in the dust with losses of over $150 million. Starr intended to hold equity in his Turks and Caicos offshore entity, Empower Insurance Corporation to avoid scrutiny and evade taxes.
Accounts of the timeline and related documents indicate that the Scheme began approximately in June of 2021, when Denne, Drake, and many others, opened brokerage accounts at Haywood Securities with Jason Knoblauch, where they collectively liquidated over 5 million shares believed to average out at roughly $2 dollars per share.
In fact, it appears nearly all the network marketing investors, including Drakes own father parked their shares at Haywood. Valour Inc., then DeFi Technologies, Inc., had historically traded below 10 cents for more than 5 years, and rocketed to over $4 dollars once Denne, Quinn and Drake came aboard to promote the stock to their network.
But a ceiling was hit, and the pyramid began to crumble, leaving Starr in a desperate situation to hold a wall against short positions and selloffs. Starr in panic mode, continued to directly solicit more buying from the promoters, offering more liquid shares and RSU’s to Drake and others to keep pushing the shares up.
Starr used numerous tactics to encourage more illegal buying, including false inside tips of institutional investors coming on, citing Lo Presti and others, with promises of a NASDAQ uplist and the stock going to $10 Dollars.
As the stock began to slide from its inflated peak, investors and the promoters became hostile, threatening to sell off and expose Starr. In a heated text message exchange between Quinn and Starr, threats of exposure against each other are volleyed back and forth in argument over the demand for more payoffs to avoid a sell off that would crush the share value.
Similar exchanges occurred with Drake, where Drake left numerous legal voice recordings indicating “I am the reason the price went up and I am the reason it will go down.” Drake was also unsatisfied with the millions paid to him and demanded more from Starr to keep the floodgates open.
Starr rebuked Drake’s demands, which resulted in Drake sending word to his network to unload the depressed shares at an 80% loss. Despite Starr’s continued false claims and promises of price protection at $1-dollar, Valour shares have fallen back as low as 27 cents.
A full exposé is anticipated by CBC Toronto investigative reporting this month, along with potential upcoming probes by the Ontario Securities Commission, SEC, FINRA, and US Attorneys’ office. Denne was convicted of insurance fraud in 2014, which Starr was well aware of while in attendance at Denne’s home in March for a swanky fundraiser for Arizona Attorney General candidate Rodney Glassman.
Found At: Russell Starr – Valo Review