Bitcoin app ‘branding guru’ in court after cocaine bust
THE co-founder of a successful bitcoin app and “branding guru” has fronted court on cocaine and fake ID charges.
Blogger and founder of Amber, a cryptocurrency investment app, Chantelle de la Rey faced Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday pleading guilty to possessing dangerous drugs and obtaining another’s identity for a crime.
The court was told in September last year, Australian Border Force found 223g of pure cocaine hidden in a speaker that was mailed to de la Rey’s address.
Queensland Police delivered the package and when de la Rey answered the door, she claimed it was for her roommate who was not home.
Officers searched her house and found a Victorian driver’s licence under a false name with de la Rey’s photograph and text messages revealing she was aware of the package.
De la Rey’s barrister Tony Kimmins said his client was just the “bailee” and she did not know the quantity or value of the drugs in the package.
Mr Kimmins said de la Rey had no criminal history, had co-operated with authorities and had, up until last year, led a “law abiding life”.
“She was working as hard as she possibly could, she had involved herself in her business and really was living the life of a solid citizen,” Mr Kimmins said.
“This has obviously thrown her life in turmoil.”
De la Rey helped start Amber in 2017 and on social media describes herself as a “designer and branding guru”.
Last year, the app made headlines for securing more than $1.4 million from private investors, including QUT University.
Justice Thomas Bradley said they were “unusual circumstances” and her offending was in stark contrast to her usual good character.
He said it was a “weak and foolish decision” made under pressure by the person who had mailed her the drugs but noted she had only been in possession of the drugs for about five minutes.
De la Rey was sentenced to three years’ jail, wholly suspended.
The sentence will be operational for three years.
Originally published as Bitcoin app ‘branding guru’ in court after cocaine bust