NFT Fraudster Faces Up to Five Years Behind Bars

In a U.S. courtroom, Aurelien Michel, the creator behind the "Mutant Ape Planet" NFTs, has conceded to wrongdoing in defrauding investors.

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Aurelien Michel, the mastermind behind the controversial “Mutant Ape Planet” NFTs, has pleaded guilty to defrauding investors in a United States court. The acknowledgment of guilt unfolded during a court session presided over by United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon. Michel, upon sentencing, could potentially serve up to five years in prison and has agreed to forfeit $1.4 million.

The United States Attorney’s Office of New York, in a recent statement, disclosed that Michel’s deliberate actions in deceiving investors within the Mutant Ape Planet NFT project could lead to a prison sentence. United States Attorney Breon Peace emphasized Michel’s admission of conspiring with others to defraud consumers eager to engage in the emerging digital asset market.

nft fraudster faces up to five years behind bars 65b9783b050b8

The statement underscored the commitment of authorities to relentlessly pursue individuals involved in manipulating the digital assets market for personal financial gain: “Holding these criminal actors accountable and protecting the public is, and will remain, a priority of this Office.”

This development follows a recent warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concerning the escalating prevalence of NFT scams. In a statement issued on August 7, it was highlighted that these scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, leaving unsuspecting enthusiasts in the dark.

Related: NFT Market Resurgence: Surge in Sales and Trading Volumes Elevates Major Collections

“Unfortunately, criminals are becoming more adept, leveraging the surge in NFT interest to target innocent enthusiasts,” the statement noted. The ongoing efforts of law enforcement to combat fraudulent activities within the digital asset space underscore the need for vigilance among investors and the broader public.


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