Author : Mark
Date : Jan 09,2023
Rug pulls have sadly become widespread in the NFT industry,
The creator of Mutant Ape Planet was detained after it was claimed that he defrauded investors of millions of dollars. A lot of promises made by the project, which is a parody of the original Mutant Ape Yacht Club, were not kept.
The developer going by the name of Aurelien Michel was taken into custody this Wednesday night at New York's John F. Kennedy airport. He is a French national who was living in the United Arab Emirates at the time of his detention.
The charge sheet claims that Michel and his accomplices advertised the NFT initiative to entice investors without intending to honor their promises. "Rewards, raffles, unique access to other cryptocurrency assets, and the support of a community wallet with monies to be utilized for marketing the NFTs" were some of the promises made. The prospect of purchasing metaverse land was also mentioned.
The main issue was that investors received nothing substantial when it was time to deliver. Given that these project supporters had invested over $2.9 million in the endeavor, it was demoralizing.
After the NFT deal was finished, Michel and his accomplices moved the money to other wallets. Unknowingly, Michel was linked to some of these wallets.
Michel Slams Investors for Pulling The Rug
Members of the Mutant Ape Planet community found the transfers suspicious.
Authorities assert that when the purchasers of the Mutant Ape Planet grew suspicious of the transfers, Michel, posing as "James," acknowledged to the rug pull in the community's Discord channel.
In a social media chat with current and potential buyers, Michel admitted to the fraudulent "rug pull," but blamed the community of NFT purchasers for his actions, saying, "We never intended to rug but the community went way too toxic." This is according to the complaint that puts Michel in serious trouble.
In other words, the project was scrapped due too many inquiries from investors.
Rug pulls have sadly become widespread in the NFT industry, but investigations and defenses are assisting in the fight against these scams.
Thankfully, the lies were exposed by the authorities.
"It's alleged that Michel deceived investors by providing false statements of, among other things, freebies, tokens with staking features, and product collections," says Thomas Fattorusso, acting special agent-in-charge with the IRS Criminal Investigations Team.
Fattorusso continued, "Michel can no longer hold the NFT community responsible for his criminal activity. He will now have to deal with the repercussions of his own conduct due to his detention. We'll see how this one turns out.