Mutant Ape Planet NFT creator arrested for committing $2.9 million fraud

MAYC knock-off NFT collection Mutant APE Planet creator arrested for defrauding investors.

The French national and the developer of the Mutant Ape Planet NFT collection Aurelien Michel was arrested by police in New York. He has been charged for defrauding investors of $2.9 million in a “rug pull scam”.

By definition, rug pull is a scam where the creator of the project (crypto or NFT) takes the money from the investors by shilling the project and then run away with the funds.

He used all the funds for his own use and did not deliver on the promises that were made during the launch of the collection. The collection consists of 6,797 NFTs stored on the Ethereum blockchain that hit 567 ETH in sales but the floor price crashed with time since Jan 2022.

He blamed his actions on the community by calling them toxic. However, the community members hit back saying they were asking for clarity and questioning the future direction of the project due to the lack of activity.

A press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that Michel defrauded investors by making false claims like giveaways, staking and other benefits to the NFT buyers. He withdrew all the funds after the sale of NFTs which stands roughly at $3 million.

After his arrest, the community has taken control of the project. It is now headed by a user with the pseudonym HTMadge.

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