US Justice Dept. Charges 2 in NFT 'Rug Pull' Scheme
"They pulled the rug out from under the victims," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said of the creators of the Frosties NFT collection.
Two men allegedly behind the "Frosties" non-fungible token (NFT) project, an infamous scam whose Discord server reportedly evaporated hours after mint, were charged Thursday with money laundering and wire fraud by U.S. prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
It's an early example of U.S. law enforcement prosecuting an alleged NFT "rug pull."
Ethan Nguyen and Andre Llacuna, who prosecutors say are Frosties's pseudonymous backers, defrauded their NFT investors of over $1 million when theft. Facing criminal conspiracy and financial crime charges, they are among the first criminal NFT defendants in the rug-pull era.
"Mr. Nguyen and Mr. Llacuna promised investors the benefits of the Frosties NFTs, but when it sold out they pulled the rug out from under the victims, almost immediately shutting down the website and transferring the money,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a press release.
Added Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent Ricky J. Patel:
Protocol reported on the Frosties debacle in a February article.
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