The United States government is searching far and wide for Richard Heart, the controversial crypto founder it charged months ago with orchestrating an illegal $1 billion securities scheme. 

And it can’t seem to find him. 

In July, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused Heart, whose actual name is Richard Schueler, with violating securities laws by selling and promoting a cryptocurrency, Hex, that he promised holders would become “the highest appreciating asset that has ever existed in the history of man.” Now, lawyers for the SEC have informed a federal judge that they haven’t even been able to serve Heart in the case, the first step to getting proceedings off the ground. 

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In a filing submitted to a New York federal court by an SEC lawyer last week, the SEC conceded that although it believes that Heart resides in Helsinki, Finland, any attempts to serve him via the Finnish Ministry of Justice have failed over the last three months.

“To date, the [SEC] has not received confirmation of service of process on Defendants in Finland,” the SEC lawyer wrote. 

While the SEC did not clarify whether this issue stemmed from the Finnish government’s lack of cooperation with the American government or a broader failure to locate Heart, the latter is more likely given the close, collaborative relationship between the two NATO member countries. 

Heart has long been secretive about his whereabouts. When the crypto founder was prominently featured in a documentary about Hex earlier this year, he made a point of keeping his home’s location unknown both to viewers and to the film’s directors, opting to shoot interviews in a hand-selected underground bunker (the location of which was also kept secret.)

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But that doesn’t mean Heart has gone off the radar. 

In the six days since the SEC admitted that it couldn’t find the crypto influencer, he has publicly tweeted 31 times. In these tweets, Heart has not once mentioned his location or referenced the fact that the American government is searching for him.

He has, however, repeatedly gloated about the legal woes of fallen Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, who pled guilty last week to violating American anti-money laundering laws and stepped down from his CEO role.

The list of people in jail or bankrupt that didn't like Richard Heart or the things he founded is really long,” Heart wrote last week, referring to himself in the third person. “They were wrong. CZ, SBF, Mashinsky, Suz Zhu [sic], Do Kwon. Upgrade your view.”

While Heart has not yet been charged with any criminal offense, he now finds himself in a similar position to some of the fallen crypto founders he recently mocked. Both Terra founder Do Kwon and Three Arrows Capital founder Su Zhu tweeted for months on end after their respective crypto projects collapsed, even as they fled criminal charges and attempted to lie low in foreign countries. Both were eventually captured

Kwon is currently serving a four-month sentence in Montenegro, after which he will be extradited to either the U.S. or South Korea for further criminal proceedings; Zhu is partway through a prison sentence in Singapore.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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