Cryptocurrency influencer Alex Saunders who allegedly owed millions to investors says he was battling an opioid addiction, has repaid all monies and is now taking steps to pay back others.
The Launceston-based founder of Nugget's News YouTube channel came under fire last year after allegedly collecting monies from investors which he appeared to transfer into a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange.
Mr Saunders has now taken to social media admitting that he was battling an opioid addiction and that he made a "mess" of things, "was not thinking clearly", "handled things poorly", and let people down.
He wrote that his mental health suffered significantly and that he was suicidal.
"I've spent my time away from the space completing rehab to get off all opiates, fix the mess I made & do my best to make everything right," Mr Saunders wrote on Facebook.
"Everyone I had any kind of dealings with in the crypto space has now been contacted and either repaid, or in the process of being repaid.
"If I have missed anyone please check communication channels or contact me ASAP. I'd also like to clarify there are no charges against me & never have been."
Nugget's News YouTube channel provided cryptocurrency investment advice and was a fee-based service with over 140,000 subscribers.
Mr Saunders was alleged to have sought investors for an under-development project known as "Decentral Bank", but instead appeared to quickly transfer the money into a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange.
A New Zealand investor sued Mr Saunders in the Supreme Court of Victoria for up to $480,000 at the end of last year.
Mr Saunders explained on Facebook that his opioid addiction developed after injuring his back for a second time.
"Despite successfully managing the injury since it first occurred in 2016, this time around was far worse & required high-dose opiates to manage the pain," he wrote.
"I did my best to push on with my business ventures, work, social & home life but my mental & physical health began a downward spiral I didn't want to acknowledge.
"As a pharmacist, I knew the warning signs but opiates had altered my decision-making to the point I thought I knew better. I was not thinking clearly and handled things poorly."
Despite his troubles, Mr Saunders indicated that he would continue working in the cryptocurrency space.
"I'll share further details in a video soon of my future plans, what I've been working on & first airdrops for Nugget's News NFT holders," he said.
"Once again I apologise for my absence, my actions & to all those I let down."
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