Indicted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), 6 individuals were indicted in four cases of cryptocurrency fraud, including Baller Ape NFT rug pull, which was worth almost $130 million.
Baller Ape NFT Scam
According to the agency’s release, Le Anh Tuan, a 26-year-old Vietnamese national, took down the website and ran with the money of investors after the first day of public sale of Baller Ape NFTs from the Central District in California. Many cartoon characters were included in the NFTs, including an ape.
“Total, Tuan and his conspirators received approximately $2.6million from investors. Tuan could spend up to 40 years prison if convicted on all charges,” the release stated.
The investigators used blockchain analytics to discover that Tan and his associates had used chain-chopping to launder the stolen funds. To hide the funds trail, the defendants turned the coins into assets and transferred them to other blockchain networks through decentralized crypto swap services.
$130 Million in Scams
Five people were also indicted in fraud cases. They are involved in a global Ponzi scheme, which involved unregistered cryptocurrency assets, ICO faking top business relationships, and an investment fund traded via crypto exchanges.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. said, “These indictments reflect the deep commitment we have to prosecute individuals involved in crypto fraud and market manipulation.” Polite, Jr. from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Two Brazilians and one American national were involved in the Ponzi scheme, which generated almost $100 million in investments. The case is currently being investigated in the Southern District of Florida.
One California resident, Michael Alan Stollery (54), was indicted in connection with fraudulent ICO cases. He used fake testimonials and business relationships to gain access to companies like Apple, Pfizer and The Walt Disney Company. His Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, (TBIS), raised around $21 million.
A fraudulent investment fund was nearly $12 million raised to invest in commodity futures and commodities markets via a bot. It promised 500% to 600% returns.
More Crypto Frauds
The US Department of Justice convicted Jeremy Spence, also known as Coin Signals for defrauding more than 170 people of over $5 million. For making false claims in order to attract investments, the Rhode Island resident of 25 years was sentenced to 42 month imprisonment.
Another case involved regulators in Texas, Kentucky, New Jersey and New Jersey who flagged a Russian-based NFT project that was soliciting funds from US investors to fund a metaverse casino project called Flamingo Casino Club.
It promised investors attractive returns and offered land and other properties in the Metaverse Casino as NFTs. The regulators deemed the investment proposals made by the project illegal because they were submitted in March, after Russia’s economic sanctions.
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