A French computer programmer sent about $ 522,000 in bitcoin to southwestern American activists before he died by suicide last month, according to reports.
Laurent Bachelier – a Paris developer who professes right-wing beliefs online – made the charges on Dec. 8, a day before he published a blog post revealing he had taken his own life after suffering from years of chronic pain, The Wall reported Street Journal on Monday.
“I’m worried about what happens after my death,” Bachelier, 35, wrote according to a copy of the post published by bitcoin analytics firm Chainalysis. “That’s why I decided to leave my modest wealth to some causes and people.”
Bachelier’s biggest gift recipient was Nick Fuentes, a right-wing online influencer who was at the US Capitol the day he was sworn in by Trump supporters, according to the Journal.
Fuentes was said to be outside the Capitol as the Jan. 6 riot unfolded but has said he was not inside the building.
Bachelier Fuentes sent 13.5 bitcoin that was worth about $ 250,000 at the time of the transfer, Chainalysis found. The cryptocurrency has more than doubled in value since then, making the amount Fuentes received worth more than $ 500,000 as of Monday.
Bachelier also donated 1 Bitcoin each – currently worth about $ 37,000 – to VDARE, an anti-immigration website; the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi message board; and Gab.com, a social media platform popular with the far right, Chainalysis said in a report last week.
Chainalysis did not name Bachelier in its report, but the Journal said it confirmed its identity through online records and interviews.
The FBI has been briefed on Bachelier’s charges as it investigates whether right-wing groups have received funding from foreign sources, according to the Journal.
Bachelier helped develop Weboob, a set of digital tools used to scrape information from the internet without using a web browser, the paper reported. Weboob is among the software projects listed on Bachelier’s profile on GitHub, a platform that developers use to share code.
In his last blog post, Bachelier said he has suffered for about eight years with health problems including trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic condition that causes facial pain. He also lamented the “decline of Western civilization” and appeared to be criticizing coronavirus locks and Black Lives Matter protests last year.
Bachelier’s brother, Fabien Bachelier, confirmed to the Journal that his brother had died by suicide and said the family was grieving.
“We don’t understand. We’re just learning about some things, ”Fabien told the paper.