A famous Atlanta movie producer has been found guilty of wire fraud and money laundering charges for promoting a fraudulent crypto investment scheme. The scheme allegedly defrauded around $2.5 million in investment funds.
US Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in the official indictment that a 48-year-old crook named Ryan Felton has transferred $ 2.4 million in profits from investments from Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and trading markets to accounts.
“The defendant used 21st-century technology to perpetrate an age-old scam: defrauding investors to steal money and fund their own lavish lifestyles,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Felton’s conviction should serve as a warning to anyone who seeks to use emerging technologies at the expense of others.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan and other official documents presented in court, Felton promoted an initial coin offering (ICO) for a new entertainment streaming platform called FliK in 2017.
To lend credibility to his claims and entice investors, he lied to people that a famous Atlanta rapper and actor was the owner of FLiK. He also wrongly indicated that the United States military would distribute the streaming platform to service members.
However, any promises made before the ICO closed were nothing but lies. After closing the ICO, Felton dumped more than 40 million FLiK tokens on the trading market, driving the market value.
Also, instead of using these investors’ funds to develop his streaming platform, Felton spent this money on a lavish lifestyle, including buying a house for $1.5 million in cash, a $180,000 red 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fioran Coupe, $58,250 new. Chevy Tahoe, and about $30,000 in diamond jewelry.
After getting a taste of the first fraudulent crypto product, Felton promoted another ICO for a crypto exchange called, CoinSpark. This time he cheated investors through false promises that he would share 25% profit from crypto exchange with Spark coin investors.
They also lied to investors about an audit firm that a global accounting firm would audit CoinSpark’s financials on a quarterly basis. In fact, he never contacted the accounting firm.
To create fake hype about CoinSpark, they appeared on various social media accounts under fake names.
Official documents state that “Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to twelve counts of wire fraud, ten counts of money laundering, and two counts of securities fraud on the fourth day of the jury’s trial.”
Sentencing on the charges against Felton is scheduled for a later date before U.S. District Court Judge JP Boulee.