Tron cryptocurrency founder Justin Sun has postponed his high-profile lunch with legendary investor Warren Buffet due either to illness or legal troubles, according to conflicting reports.
Sun paid a record $4.6 million to win a charity-auctioned lunch with the Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha.” Buffet has called blockchain technology important but famously said bitcoin is “a delusion” and “rat poison squared.”
Sun invited several high-profile cryptocurrency industry leaders to join him, hoping to use the July 25 meal to try and change the skeptical billionaire’s mind. Sun was allowed to invite seven guests, and had announced that Litecoin creator Charlie Lee; Huobi exchange CFO Chris Lee, Binance Charity Foundation leader Helen Hai, social trading platform eToro CEO Yoni Assia, and cryptocurrency financial services firm Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire will join him.
While the Tron Foundation said on Twitter the cancellation was due to an attack of kidney stones, prominent Chinese business news site 21st Century Business Herald reported [Chinese language] that the real reason was legal troubles.
Citing unnamed sources on July 23, the newspaper said that authorities had prevented Sun from leaving China over allegations of illegal fundraising stemming from Tron’s initial coin offering (ICO). Chinese authorities have banned ICOs and the use of cryptocurrencies. Other charges money laundering and involvement with illegal gambling, possibly due to a sweepstakes accessible in China.
Later, Chinese financial news site Caixin claimed that Sun has been detained at the request of a financial regulator, which has recommended that charges be pursued.
Sun denied all charges on his Weibo account, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Tron recently had other troubles in China after consumers were defrauded of about $30 million by Wave Field Super Community, which allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme using Tron’s name in China—Wave Field—to attract investors. After a July 8 protest at the offices of Tron’s Chinese partner Raybo turned violent, the Tron Foundation issued a statement saying that while it sympathized with the victims, it had nothing to do with the scam. When Tron learned of the con job in January, it issued a cease and desist to the company, publicized the issue on WeChat, Wei Bo, and other Chinese and English channels, and reported it to authorities, it said.
Meanwhile, the 21st Century Business Herald has had legal troubles of its own. In 2015, Reuters reported that authorities had revoked its publishing license amid accusations that it threatened to publish negative reports about companies that did not advertise with it.