Remember when everyone was obsessed with Bored Apes? Well, because of the popularity of the ugly apes, there were a lot of other projects trying to capture that same magic. One of those NFT creations was the Mutant Ape Planet NFT collection.
It seemed like a scam from the beginning, but the thing about cryptobros is that they don’t believe it’s a scam, as long as they can see the light that they’re scamming someone else at the end of the tunnel. People put millions of dollars into these NFTs at the height of the craze, but before the collection sold out, the creators took the $2.9 million dollars people spent and ran.
Aurelien Michel was arrested in January and has since pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He currently risks a $1.4 million fine and up to five years in prison. Michel previously blamed his community for pulling the rug and said: “We never intended to carpet [trekken], but the community got way too toxic.”
However, the special agent of the New York homeland security investigation, Ivan J. Arvelo, had the following to say: “Aurelien Michel seduced investors with promises to profit from the NFT trend, only to abandon the project after amassing nearly $3 million in what is described as a ‘back-pull scheme.’ The defendant, accused of misleading the Mutant Ape NFT community, claimed innocence and even labeled victims as “too toxic. However, these attempts to evade responsibility came to an end with today’s plea deal.”
Michel had promised rewards and benefits for buyers, which turned out not to be true. Therefore, he had scammed investors, reminding them that you don’t spend thousands of dollars on a picture of a monkey.