The U.S. government has arrested and charged the creator of “Mutant Ape Planet” non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for allegedly defrauding crypto investors. “The purchasers were ‘rug pulled,’” the Department of Justice (DOJ) described, adding that millions of dollars in cryptocurrency were diverted for the NFT creator’s personal benefits.
DOJ Takes Action Against NFT Rug Pull Scheme
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that Aurelien Michel has been charged with “defrauding purchasers of ‘Mutant Ape Planet’ NFTs, a type of digital asset, of more than $2.9 million in cryptocurrency.”
The defendant is a French national residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He was arrested Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The Mutant Ape Planet (MAP) NFTs were marketed and sold with false promises of numerous rewards and benefits, including exclusive opportunities for additional investments, giveaways, merchandise, and other rewards, the DOJ detailed, elaborating:
After selling out of the NFTs, the purchasers were ‘rug pulled’ ……