Warren Buffett is off the hook. His lunch date with Justin Sun, a Chinese crypto promoter, has been delayed indefinitely as the 29-year-old entrepreneur stares down a reported investigation in Beijing.
Sun’s company, the Tron Foundation, claimed on Monday (July 22) that its founder was suffering from kidney stones, forcing him to cancel the meal with Buffett in San Francisco he won in a charity auction. However, according to Chinese business site Caixin (link in Chinese), Sun has actually been prohibited from leaving China, as Beijing’s top internet regulator investigates him on suspicions on illegal fundraising, money laundering, pornography distribution, and gambling. Sun has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing and he posted photos on Twitter today that appear to show him in San Francisco today.
The Tron Foundation raised $70 million in 2017 through an initial coin offering shortly before China outlawed the sale of digital tokens. Since then, the organization has been beset by allegations of plagiarism and scandalized by related fraud. (Sun denied plagiarism in his company’s white paper and Tron says it warned investors of potential scams using its likeness.) Meanwhile, the Tron Foundation’s plan to build a crypto-based entertainment platform has been overshadowed by trading of its associated TRX tokens. Although TRX possesses a $1.6 billion market cap, the digital coins trade for just over $0.02 apiece and their price has fallen 17% since Caixin reported Sun was under investigation.
Update: This post has been updated to note that Sun has posted photos that appear to show him in San Francisco.