Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeNFTDOJ Files Charges Against Alleged 'Mutant Ape Planet' NFT Rug Pull

DOJ Files Charges Against Alleged ‘Mutant Ape Planet’ NFT Rug Pull

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it had arrested the founder of the NFT project and filed criminal charges.

Aurelien Michel, 24, the founder of the Ethereum NFT collection Mutant Ape Planet, was arrested last night at JFK Airport in New York City by federal authorities on charges of wire fraud. Michel is a French citizen and lives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The move has led federal prosecutors to sue the so-called NFT Rug Pull, a scheme in which NFT project creators sell NFTs with false promises of community benefits, utilities, and financial perks, only to abandon the project and take it away. This is the third time we have filed a lawsuit against the Orchestrator. with investor funds.

In this case DOJ claim Michelle promised giveaways, tokens with staking functionality, and merchandise collections to Mutant Ape Planet NFT holders, but did not deliver on any of these commitments, instead pocketing around $3 million. rice field.

Federal prosecutors have cooperated with both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in this case.

To make things more complicated for Michelle, prosecutors say there is evidence that in social media chats with current and future Mutant Ape Planet NFT buyers, he admitted to actually doing the carpet-pulling choreography. It is a fact that officials are claiming. Actions of the Mutant Ape Planet community.

“We weren’t going to build a rug, but the community has become too toxic,” Michelle is quoted as saying to the owner.

“Michelle can no longer accuse the NFT community of his criminal behavior,” said IRS Deputy Special Agent Thomas FatRusso in a statement. “His arrest means he will face the consequences of his own actions.”

June, DOJ made similar accusations It cost $2.6 million to the creators of the Baller Ape Club NFT collection for rug-pulling owners.Department’s first-ever ragpull case for creators of Frosty NFT Projectclaimed that the creator of Frostie defrauded the owner of $1.1 million.

Lag pulls are all too common in the world of high-volume, often anonymous, and largely unregulated NFT trading, generating a staggering $25 billion in sales last year.

But despite the familiarity of such cases, today’s action is only the third time federal prosecutors have prosecuted them.

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