It seems that everything Floyd Mayweather touches turns to handcuffs, even cryptocurrency. The controversial American boxer who served time for spousal battery put his name to a crypto, only for its developers to then attempt to blatantly defraud clients of millions at an ICO.
The creators of a Floyd Mayweather promoted cryptocurrency have been accused of defrauding their customers out of millions of dollars. The co-founders of the cryptocurrency Centra Tech, Sohrab “Sam” Sharma, Raymond Trapani and Robert Farkas (pictured above) were indicted on Monday by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The New York DA announced that it had filed charges against the three men because they had evidence to prove that a high-grossing ICO (initial coin offering) had been set up for the sole purpose of defrauding investors.
Fake Connections To Visa and MasterCard
The New York DA alleges that the Cetra Tech ICO was an unregistered securities offering, and that Centra Tech’s operators “engaged in fraudulent conduct and made material misstatements and omissions designed to deceive investors.” The three allegedly lied to customers that they were well connected to major financial companies such as Visa, Bancorp and MasterCard, firms which had in fact sent Centra Tech numerous cease-and-desist letters.
US Attorney Robert Khuzami said that the trio had also created a fake CEO of Centra Tech in an effort to make their scam more believable:
“As alleged, the defendants conspired to capitalize on investor interest in the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. They allegedly made false claims about their product and about relationships they had with credible financial institutions, even creating a fictitious Centra Tech CEO. Whether traditional or cutting-edge, investment vehicles can’t legally be peddled with falsehoods and lies.”
Floyd Mayweather Promoted Fraudulent ICO
The Centra Tech ICO raised its product profile by its use of celebrity endorsements, such as Floyd Mayweather. Retired five-weight world champion Mayweather heavily promoted the Centra Tech coin sale on his Twitter and Instagram pages, generating more than 1,500 retweets and 5,600 likes.
The ICO then went on to make $32 million at the time of the offering. In an interesting sidebar, when the FBI arrested Sharma, Trapani and Farkas, they also seized 91,000 Ether tokens – the coin of the world’s no.2 cryptocurrency Ethereum, worth approximately $67 million.
Max-Sentence Of 65 Years
The three Centra Tech co-founders has each been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, as well as committing securities fraud and committing wire fraud. The first charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, while the latter three each carry a sentence of 20 years. Therefore, if found guilty of all four charges, they could either be looking at a 20-year concurrent sentence, or a 65-year consecutive sentence.
Who Is Floyd Mayweather?
41-year old Floyd Mayweather is a retired former five-weight world boxing champion. Mayweather retired in 2015 with a record of 49-0, but returned to the ring in 2017 to face UFC star Connor McGregor in a “boxing match” which Mayweather won. The controversial American has a history of domestic violence, and has been charged on multiple occasions, serving prison time in 2012.
Despite earning hundreds of millions of dollars in the ring, Mayweather, who is barely literate, has been on the verge of bankruptcy on several occasions. He is fond of flashing his wealth, and even changed his name to Floyd “Money” Mayweather. His spending sprees have included a fleet of high-performance, million-dollar Bugatti’s, a string of mansions across the US, and two business jets.
However because of his unsavory reputation, Mayweather has no commercial sponsorship deals, so when he spends, there is no money to replenish his accounts. That said, as of yet there has been no accusations whatsoever that Mayweather was in any way implicit in this case.