The US Department of Justice just laid its paws on the founder of the Mutant Ape Planet NFT collection. The latter would be behind a carpet pulled which has cost users nearly 2.9 million.
Founder of NFT Mutant Ape Planet collection arrested
Definitely, the US Department of Justice wants to declare war on scammers. His latest target is the founder of the Mutant Ape Planet collection, a spin-off of Yuga Labs’ very popular NFT Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection. Aurélien Michel, a French citizen, was arrested at John Fitzgerald Kennedy airport in New York. Federal agents accuse him of setting up a carpet drag scheme in which he allegedly extorted nearly $3 million from its users.
“Under this scheme, NFTs were marketed to buyers, who were falsely promised numerous benefits and rewards designed to increase the demand and value of the NFTs they had just acquired.”
United States Department of Justice – Department of Justice
Concretely, the latter would have promised buyers utility tokens and other financial benefits but after the sale of the NFTs it had already disappeared with the customers’ funds. U.S. Justice Department representatives say they have proof that Michel deliberately orchestrated this tug-of-war. The latter seems to point the finger at the behavior of the members of the Mutant Ape Planet community.
“We never intended to leave, but the community has become too toxic.”
Excerpt from Michel’s conversation with a member of the Mutant Ape Planet community.
For American justice, Aurélien Michel cannot blame the buyers to justify his fraud.
“Aurélien Michel can no longer blame the NFT community for his criminal behavior. His arrest means that he will now face the consequences of his own actions”.
aThomas Fattorusso, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS.
Too many shots on the mat
According to data shared by DappRadar during the month of December, pull pulls reportedly cost cryptocurrency users over $200 million. In this type of scam, the creator of the project goes missing after raising money from investors. The best known to this day is still that of the Squid game token, a so-called project that was supposed to replicate the games of the hugely popular South Korean series. But in reality, the story ended up being an outright scam.
American justice has therefore been very attentive to these schemes. In June, he arrested NFT collection founder Baller Ape Club for extorting $2.6 million from investors. Long before this case, the DOJ convicted the founders of the Frostie NFT project of fraudulent acts.
Despite the steep decline in NFT sales, fraudsters miss no opportunity to extort investors. Using the name of a famous collection seems to be a very popular way to extort money from users. For this, it is essential to do your research firstinvest in any NFT project or… any crypto project.
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