New York Court Charges Three people from the UK are connected to the “Evolved Apes” NFT Rugpull


In connection with the “Evolved Apes” non-fungible token (NFT) scam, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has filed charges against three individuals from the United Kingdom on allegations of wire fraud and money laundering.

The court issued charges against Daood Hassan, Mohamed Rilaz Waleedh, and Mohamed-Amin Atcha on Thursday, alleging that they were engaged in a rugpull. They reportedly tricked people into buying NFTs by using deception.

The “Evolved Apes” NFT collection on OpenSea promised a lucrative videogame development project with 10,000 digital valuables. Having said that, making a videogame was a complete waste of time and money.

The culprits promptly deleted the project’s website and withheld the proceeds, according to the court complaint, without ever producing the gaming. They went a step further by laundering the “misappropriated monies” via a variety of digital currencies.

According to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, “the defendants perpetrated fraud to push up the price of digital artwork via false claims about producing a videogame.” Thus, the prosecution said:.

“According to the allegations, they did not create the game and instead pocketed the investment monies.”

At the time (798 ETH was worth $2.9 million), the creators of the Evolved Apes project vanished in October 2023 with the cryptocurrency. The three accused perpetrated a pump-and-dump operation and then stashed the money in their own accounts.

Williams, the attorney, pointed out that even though NFTs are still in their infancy, schemes like this fall under the existing money laundering regulations. He promised that the perpetrators of the deceit would “be held accountable.”

“Like, thousands of individuals, especially in the Southern District of New York, bought these NFTs because they fell for these bogus claims,” he said.

The Evolved Apes members all face charges of conspiring to launder money and conduct wire fraud. According to what the judge said, their maximum jail term is twenty years.

At all times, the FBI has been collecting data related to the matter. “The FBI is still dedicated to going after those who engage in fraudulent schemes driven by an egotistical need for immediate financial gain,” said James Smith, the assistant director in charge of the FBI.

Also Read: Crypto Whale Transfers $33.55M to Coinbase

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