A French blogger killed himself in a luxury Paris hotel room on the day he bankrolled the far-right Capitol Hill rioters, MailOnline can reveal.
A source close to the Paris police confirmed that ‘no crime was committed’ in connection with the death of Bitcoin millionaire Laurent Bachelier, 35.
Mr Bachelier rented a room at the Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris several days before he is believed to have taken a drugs overdose on December 8, having funded the mob who stormed Congress in Washington with a $520,000 donation.
Why he chose to rent the hotel room and did not use his flat three miles away in the northern suburbs of the French capital is unknown.
A source close to the police investigation into the death told MailOnline: ‘Mr Bachelier was found in a room at the Hyatt Regency by a member of staff. He had been dead some time.’
For the past eight years the computer programmer had suffered from trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic nerve condition that sends bolts of excruciating pain through the body.
Laurent Bachelier (above), 35, killed himself after donating $520,000 to far-right causes. Here the reclusive French computer programmer is seen in a YouTube video giving a lecture in 2017
The mysterious French blogger (third from the right) donated the money on December 7 and then took his life at a hotel in Paris where his body was found by staff ‘several days later’
Bachelier booked a room at the four star Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris where rooms cost £650-a-night several days before he is believed to have taken a drugs overdose on December 8
There is no cure but sufferers are treated with powerful anti-convulsive drugs and pain killers, both of which can be fatal if taken in non-prescribed doses.
While the lonely death of a troubled tech wizard may be unremarkable, his life was another matter altogether, shrouded as it was in mystery and sinister intrigue.
For just a few miles away at his first-floor boutique apartment in a narrow street just off the bustling Avenue de Clichy in the northern suburbs of the French capital, lay the nerve centre of Bachelier’s cyber-crime operation which provided his ill-gotten fortune in Bitcoin.
His method was to blackmail and troll victims online, using his formidable skills to ‘enrage, threaten’ and expose anyone who expressed opposing views to his clients.
His donation to the DC insurrectionists included some $250,000 to white supremacist Nick Fuentes, in the days leading up to the January 6 outrage.
Bachelier committed suicide just hours after making the huge cash gift, in the form of 28.15 Bitcoin, from the central hotel room last month.
His suicide note appeared on December 9, one day after his donations were recorded on a publicly available block chain.
In his suicide note, Bachelier said his body felt ‘three times my age’ and was a ‘prisoner of my body’ who was ‘interested in what an autopsy will reveal’.
The hotel room was just three miles from the first floor flat (pictured) Bachelier owned in a narrow street off the bustling Avenue de Clichy in the northern suburbs of the French capital
Neighbours where Bachelier lived behind the brightly-lit front door at the top of some polished wooden stairs said the computer programmer was polite, but reclusive, not seeing him often
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in France, like many computer programmers, Buchelier had been working from home (hallway pictured) doing his job for GeneatNetSA
His suicide was confirmed by local official sources, while his brother, Fabien Bachelier, confirmed his death and said enquiries were ongoing.
A local official source in Paris confirmed there was an ongoing enquiry into his death, which would include an autopsy.
At the time of his death Bachelier worked as a data mananger at GeneatNetSA , specialising in Python development, data retrieval and analysis – a job he had held since 2014.
Like most computer experts in Paris, he had been working at home during the coronavirus pandemic since March last year.
Buchelier’s name still appears on the post box in the hallway leading to his £500,000 flat
Neighbours at his flat with its brightly-painted front door atop a polished wood stairway have described the talented computer programmer as a short man, civil but reserved, who travelled around the French capital by bicycle.
‘He was always polite and kind to the children, but he was a recluse,’ one told MailOnline.
‘He did not go out very often. He stayed in his apartment most days.’
Another added: ‘I did not know him well. I don’t think anyone in the building did. I heard he hanged himself. Sad.’
But Bachelier, also known by his online persona ‘pankkake’, revealed his darker nature in a series of posts to an internet forum dating back to 2013 in which he supplemented his income by offering his skills for hire.
‘I offer my trolling services,’ he wrote on June 22, 2013.
‘Do you want to make some users rage? Reveal their dark/hideous side? Have some fun? Do you have no time to reply, yet have a hard time resisting duty calls?’
Setting out his twisted skillset to potential customers, Bachelier/pankkake, who expressed his dislike for political correctness, revealed he had been trolling victims for over ten years before 2013 and had adapted his own technology to avoid being silenced.
He wrote: ‘I have 10+ years’ experience trolling forums and have eventually been banned in most.
‘I have extensively tweaked browser which allows me to be faster than most.
‘I have hurt a lot of feelings.’
He added he could work in English and French.
Born in the University city of Aix-en-Provence, in the heart of the picturesque Provence region in the south of France, in 1985, Bachelier flourished at maths and computer science at school.
As well as his job as a data manager for GeneatNetSA, Bachelier used his online username ‘pankkake’ to advertise (above) his IT skills for hire in offering to troll people
Early in his life Bachelier’s family moved from Aix-en-Provence to Toulouse where he and his brother attended local schools, the Lycée Saliege and the Lycée Bellevue.
Flourishing in maths and computer science as a teenager, he went on to study computer engineering at the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse from 2004 to 2006.
He also studied advanced Mathematics and Computer Science from 2006 to 2007 at ESIGETEL in Toulouse.
During that period he was surrounded by like-minded ‘techies’ who shared his enthusiasm for programming and desire to flourish in the exploding online world.
His first job was as a web developer at the French tech firm Theodo, before moving on to create new software that enabled access to the web without using a browser – weboob, with friends at the start-up Budget Insight before moving to Geneanet.
An official record in France of Bachelier’s birth in 1985 in Aix-en-Provence and death
Secretive Bachelier was well-liked by his colleagues but somehow kept his growing sympathies with far-right politics to himself, along with his ‘side hustle’ in fomenting hatred.
Former colleague Ludovic Vigouroux: ‘I have very good memories of Laurent [Bachelier] who I worked with for two years. I was very saddened by his death. I respected him a lot as a developer, hacker and security expert.’
Monsieur Vigouroux added: ‘As for his political opinions, I always thought he was libertarian but he was very discreet about his politics in professional circles.
‘He was much looser in his opinions in his personal blogs.
‘But only a few of us knew them and we considered that he was trolling people, which corresponds to his biting character.’
Another former colleague Fabrice Bernhard told MailOnline: ‘Laurent was very discreet on his personal life as techies can be.’
Meanwhile Bachelier was among the first in France to invest in Bitcoin which launched in 2009, realizing the untraceable web-based currency provided the perfect way for him to conduct his clandestine business dealings.
The programmer became a member of the Bitcoin Paris Group, an online association of users of the currency, at its inception in March 2013.
Members would meet up for drinks once or twice a year, although Bachelier rigorously refused to be captured in group photos which were posted on the internet.
‘There is only one photo of Laurent on the internet,’ a friend told MailOnline.
It was about this time that Bachelier began to turn to the dark side by offering his trolling services – to be paid, of course, in Bitcoin.
He wrote: ‘What I would like the most is doing stuff like responding to idiotic comments or articles, for examples [sic] about Bitcoin. There are many in the French press, and I have responded to some rather well.
An investigation by Chainalysis, a firm that investigates Bitcoin transactions, found that before taking his life, the Frenchman sent 28.15 Bitcoins, worth about $522,000 to 22 addresses, including many belonging to American far-right activists and organisations
After killing himself on December 8, Bachelier had arranged for this suicide note to be posted online on December 9 in which the tech wizard confirmed he had been suffering from a chronic nerve condition, that his body felt ‘three times my age’ and was a ‘prisoner of my body’
‘Price: 0.005 Bitcoin per post, i.e. 1 Bitcoin gives you 200 posts.
‘This price is indicative; some people will have a ‘pay what you feel it’s worth’ deal.
‘I also give free trials to people with enough reputation provided they give public feedback (positive or negative).
· If I get banned before some something results you’ll get a reduce price
· I am not selling my identity, I am selling content, you are not buying sock puppets
· I reserve the right to refuse offers though I have little interest for political correctness.’
Bachelier benefited from the wild fluctuation in the price of the cryptocurrency.
In June 2013, when the hacker announced he was a troll for hire, one Bitcoin was worth $100. In December 8th 2020, when he gifted his fortune to America’s far right figures, one Bitcoin was worth $18,518.52.
In his suicide note Bachelier talked about the ‘decline’ of western civilization and lamented the ‘rejection of our ancestors and our heritage’, in which he asked his best friend Romain Bignon to organize his affairs.
As well as his health problems, he explained he has suffered from severe depression for years and adds that he ‘decided to bequeath [his] modest fortune to certain causes and certain people’, in a kind of cyber will.
An investigation by Chainanalysis, which specializes in digital currency money laundering and fraud, found that the Frenchman had sent 28.15 Bitcoin, worth about $522,000 to 22 addresses, including many belonging to American far-right activists and organisations.
An investigation found that the majority of Bachelier’s 22 transactions on December 8 went to Nick Fuentes, a far-right influencer. Fuentes was pictured at the Capitol rally on January 6
Mr Fuentes, who was suspended from YouTube for hate speech, attended the Stop the Steal rally (pictured) but insists he was not one of the protesters to storm the capital building
The riots in Washington DC took place on January 6, a month after the reclusive French blogger ended his own life in a luxury hotel room in Paris
White supremacist Nick Fuentes, who was suspended from YouTube for hate speech, was the largest benefactor, receiving 13.5 Bitcoins, worth about $250,000. Of Bachelier’s 22 transactions on December 8, 18 of them were sent to Mr Fuentes.
Mr Fuentes was pictured at the Stop the Steal rally in Washington DC on January 6, but insists he wasn’t one of the rioters who stormed the Capitol building.
Other recipients included anti-immigration organization VDARE, white nationalist leader Patrick Casey, the Daily Stormer blog, alt-right streamer Ethan Ralph and a number of unidentified addresses.
French police have investigated Bachelier’s death and ruled no crime was committed.
A source close to the Paris police told MailOnline: ‘In relation to the death of Laurent Bachelier, I confirm that the Paris prosecutor’s office has carried out an investigation into the causes of death.
‘At the end of the investigation, the inquiry was dismissed for lack of infringement of a crime.’
Both his parents and brother declined to comment on Bachelier’s death or his possible involvement with the Capitol riot in Washington DC.