The crypto payment processor MoonPay (PC42 profile) named James Freis as a special adviser for global regulatory compliance. MoonPay is one of the crypto payment shooting stars valued at around $3.4 billion. “MoonPay is seen as PayPal for crypto,” its CEO Ivan Soto-Wright claims.
James Freis served as a short-term CEO of the collapsed German DAX-listed fintech Wirecard. He uncovered the fraud scheme maintained by the then-management around Markus Braun. Wirecard had to acknowledge that €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) it had listed as assets that evidently didn’t exist. Eventually, it filed for bankruptcy, causing Germany’s biggest corporate scandal.
James Freis was also the director of the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He served as a chief compliance officer at German stock exchange services company Deutsche Börse Group before joining Wirecard as a management board member and chief compliance officer in 2020.
After leaving Wirecard at the end of 2020, Freis launched his own startup, CRINDATA, building a software program for operational risk management at financial institutions.
Freis told Bloomberg that he would guide the future MoonPay development amid regulatory changes and international tensions. MoonPay shut down access to Russian customers because of the Western Alliance’s sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
MoonPay, a profitable company, raised $555 million in a funding round with Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management in November 2021 and plans to go public anytime soon.