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NFT Fraudster To Face Up To Five Years in Prison

1 min
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Aurelien Michel, implicated in wire fraud related to the "Mutant Ape Planet" NFT project, could face 5 years in prison.
  • The US Attorney, Breon Peace, revealed that Michel's guilty plea acknowledges a conspiracy to defraud consumers.
  • Amid efforts to combat manipulation in the market, authorities stress the priority of holding criminals accountable.
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In a United States court, Aurelien Michel, the originator of the “Mutant Ape Planet” NFTs, has admitted guilt for defrauding investors.

“Today’s proceeding took place before United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon.  When sentenced, Michel faces up to five years in prison.  Michel has also agreed to pay $1.4 million in forfeiture,” the statement noted.

NFT Scammer Expected To Receive Prison Sentence

In a recent statement from the United States Attorney’s Office of New York, it is revealed that Michel could be facing prison after acknowledging his deliberate act of defrauding investors in the Mutant Ape Planet NFT project:

“With today’s guilty plea, Michel has admitted that he conspired with others to defraud consumers eager to participate in a new digital asset market,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace.”

Meanwhile, the statement emphasizes that authorities are actively persisting in their endeavors to apprehend individuals seeking to manipulate the digital assets market and deceive investors for personal financial gain:

“Holding these criminal actors accountable and protecting the public is, and will remain, a priority of this Office.”

Learn more: What Is a Rug Pull? A Guide to the Web3 Scam

FBI Recent Warning Against NFT Scams

Furthermore, this comes not long after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning over the rising amount of NFT scams in recent times.

On August 7, BeInCrypto reported that the scams are progressing in sophistication, increasingly leaving victims in the dark.

“Unfortunately, criminals are getting more sophisticated, using the surge in NFT interest to target innocent enthusiasts,” the statement noted.

Biggest NFT Thefts 2020-2023. Source: Comparitech
Biggest NFT Thefts 2020-2023. Source: Comparitech

Learn more: 15 Most Common Crypto Scams To Look Out For

Top crypto platforms in the US | February 2024



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Ciaran Lyons
Ciaran is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He particularly enjoys writing about CBDC developments and the practical implementations of cryptocurrency in real-world scenarios. He has also appeared across major television networks in Australia including Channel Ten, Channel Nine and SBS TV. Prior to his foray into cryptocurrency, Ciaran worked as a presenter on national radio station Triple J.