Mutant Ape Planet NFT Developer Arrested for Alleged $2.9 Million Fraud

Mutant Ape Planet NFT developer Aurelien Michel has been arrested for alleged $2.9 million fraud.

According to the complaint filed Jan. 3, Michel and other unnamed defendants marketed the Mutant Ape Planet NFTs to prospective buyers by promising them that their purchases would come with benefits including "rewards, raffles, exclusive access to other cryptocurrency assets, and the support of a community wallet with funds to be used to market the NFTs." Project developers also made vague promises about acquiring "metaverse land" for the NFT project, according to authorities.

When all the NFTs had been sold, Michel and the other unnamed defendants allegedly transferred the nearly $3 million in earnings to other wallets, including wallets under Michel’s control. When the Mutant Ape Planet buyers grew suspicious of the transfers, authorities say that Michel, posting under the pseudonym "James", admitted to the rug pull in the community’s Discord channel.

Michel’s initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Cho of the Eastern District of New York is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.



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