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OpenSea pledges to take action on scams and intellectual property infringement

OpenSea’s co-founder and CEO Derin Finzer said the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace would redouble its efforts to curb fraud and plagiarism on the platform.  In a blog post on Wednesday, Finzer wrote that although fraud, intellectual property (IP) theft and plagiarism are prohibited under OpenSea’s terms, “at our scale, comprehensive policies aren’t enough.” Up to now, the platform has built systems to try to combat the bulk of banned activities, with a new verification system, an image scanning “copymint prevention …

Mining Capital Coin CEO indicted in DOJ fraud case

The Department of Justice is levying a case against the CEO of Mining Capital Coin (MCC) for allegedly running a $62 million global fraud scheme. Luiz Capuci, Jr. was indicted for allegedly misleading investors about MCC’s mining and investing program. Capuci and his team allegedly claimed the firm’s international network of mining machines could generate large profits and guaranteed returns if investors’ bought into the so-called “Mining Packages.” Capuci allegedly told investors their funds would be used to mine new …

Crypto Capital exec Reginald Fowler pleads guilty in fraud case

After filing for a plea change last week, Reginald Fowler pled guilty today to bank fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business and wire fraud. Fowler stood accused of engaging in “shadow banking” for cryptocurrency exchanges through his business Crypto Capital. The government alleges Crypto Capital operated as an unlicensed money transmitting business that misrepresented its crypto dealings to its banking clients. Fowler allegedly opened accounts with banks …

Crypto Capital exec plans to enter open plea in ongoing fraud case

Reginald Fowler, who sits at the center of a banking fraud case brought by the US government, is seeking to forego his right to trial. Fowler stands accused of engaging in “shadow banking” for cryptocurrency exchanges through his business Crypto Capital. The government alleges Fowler ran Crypto Capital with his partner Ravid Yosef as an unlicensed money transmitting business that misrepresented its crypto dealings to its banking clients. Additionally, “shadow banking” transactions like these can be a means of circumventing …

Man passing as UN affiliate convicted for crypto scheme

A man who defrauded investors out of thousands of dollars in a crypto scheme was convicted on Friday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Asa Saint Clair allegedly posed as the president of an organization (World Sports Alliance) with supposed ties to the United Nations and raised money from over 60 investors for the launch of a digital coin offering called IGObit. “As a jury has now found, Asa Saint Clair used lies to defraud everyday people out of their …

Why the UK authorities’ £1.4 million NFT seizure isn’t groundbreaking

Cyber security officials poured cold water on the idea that a recent move to seize crypto assets in the UK, including three NFTs, had broken new ground.  Earlier this week, the UK’s tax authority arrested three people on suspicion of attempting to defraud it of £1.4 million. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said the move to recover NFTs was a first, and part of a probe into a suspected Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud involving 250 alleged fake companies. VAT …

UK taxman siezes first NFTs in £1.4 million fraud probe

The UK’s tax body seized three non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and arrested three people on suspicion of attempting to defraud it of £1.4 million. This is a first for British authorities in the policing of digital assets. The Telegraph was first to report the news.  HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said the move was part of a probe into a suspected Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud involving 250 alleged fake companies. VAT is a broadly based consumption tax assessed on the value …

Pakistan government contacts Binance over $100 million scam investigation

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of Pakistan has sent an inquiry to Binance as part of a criminal investigation into a scam that allegedly used Binance wallets and integrated applications to defraud about $100 million from Pakistani users.  Head of FIA Cyber Crime Zone Sindh Imran Riaz tweeted a letter sent to Binance’s Cayman Islands office and Humza Khan, the general manager at Binance Pakistan, dated Jan. 6, 2022.  “As reported to this office by number of complainants, an online …

SEC charges operator of ICO and cloud crypto mining schemes

On December 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against Ivars Auzins over a series of digital asset-related investment schemes that the SEC is calling fraudulent. The SEC highlighted a 2018 initial coin offering for a token called Denaro, for which Auzins’ allegedly gathered $11 million worth of investments before the project disappeared. Another scheme, Innovamine, allegedly promised investors the opportunity to mine crypto using cloud computing. Auzins was accused of collecting over $7 million for Innovamine before disappearing …

‘Coin Signals’ trader pleads guilty to commodities fraud, faces up to 10 years

On November 30, the Department of Justice announced that Jeremy Spence pleaded guilty to commodities fraud in operating “cryptocurrency funds” that were, authorities say, Ponzi schemes that lost investors a total of $5 million. Prosecutors charged Spence, who went by the moniker “Coin Signals,” in January, with a maximum sentence of up to 30 years. Under the terms of the current plea deal, Spence faces up to 10 years. According to the Justice Department, Spence solicited investors into funds promising …