The firm built credibility by sponsoring an APPG — all-party parliamentary group — and its co-founder, Luke Sullivan, was active as a speaker for parliamentary groups and events hosted by MPs. The firm promoted itself based on these ties to the UK government, including by publishing a blog post about how they "brought the Metaverse to the Palace of Westminster".
The new indictment includes additional information about Bankman-Fried's alleged fraud. The indictment details SBF's attempts to circumvent due diligence by US banks by creating a fake company called North Dimension. Via North Dimension, SBF diverted funds to FTX, which was unable to get a bank account.
Bankman-Fried has entered a not guilty plea to the original eight charges, but has not yet entered a plea for the additional four.
These criminal charges add to securities fraud and other civil charges from the SEC, as well as civil charges out of the CFTC. Both civil cases have been stayed pending the outcome of the criminal case.
- Indictment, US. v. Sam Bankman-Fried
Many users of WazirX were angry, accusing the company of "abandoning the community".
Platforms are expected to provide the pre-registration undertaking while working toward registration with Canadian regulators. Companies who don't comply with the new pre-registration requirements will have to close Canadian accounts and prohibit Canadian users from accessing their services.
After partnering with the renowned auction house Christies to sell nine early-access mint passes, the NFTs were launched in April 2022. Each one started minting at 3.33 ETH in a Dutch auction, which at the time was around $12,000. Now, the NFTs have been selling for around 0.01 ETH (~$17).
The project's social media accounts went dormant late in 2022. On February 21, 2023, the project announced that "As the project founders, we have decided that it would be best to put a pause on Friendsies and all future digital goods for the time being... However the volatility and challenges of the market have made it very difficult to move this project forward in a way we can be proud of. For now, we have decided that it's best to allow the space to further mature." Some who asked questions like "So no AI friendsies as promised in your roadmap? What's going on?" found themselves blocked, and shortly afterwards the project deleted its Twitter account.
After being called out by crypto sleuth zachxbt for rug-pulling, the Twitter account returned to insist that they were not rug-pulling, and that "we were overwhelmed with hate and threats". Some Friendsies holders also blamed crypto influencers who had promoted the project near the beginning.
Galois also sold its claim on FTX to a distressed buyer for around $0.16 on the dollar.
The attacker was able to swap their tokens for 931 ETH ($1.57 million), which they then laundered through Tornado Cash.
"There's no excuse for an exploit, but these things happen," the project wrote on Twitter.
Pierce had made posts on Twitter, including writing shortly after he was fired from ESPN that "ESPN I don't need you. I got EthereumMax. I made more money with this crypto in the past month than I did with y'all in a year. TRUTH shall set u Free". The SEC pointed out that although he had been given EMAX tokens prior to the post, they were priced at around $46,000, not nearly the more than $1 million he'd made at ESPN over the previous year. Pierce later made a post claiming that he held more than $2.5 million of EMAX tokens, but the SEC alleged in the lawsuit that "his own personal holdings were in fact far lower" and that Pierce had been provided the screenshot of another person's holdings.
In October 2022, Kim Kardashian paid $1.26 million to settle charges over touting the same cryptocurrency, a fairly unknown token that nevertheless splashed out heavily for influencer and celebrity promotion in what appears to be a pump-and-dump scheme.
- "SEC Charges NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce for Unlawfully Touting and Making Misleading Statements about Crypto Security", U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Although Loyalist had been largely inactive since October, shortly after zachxbt published his research in February 2023, Loyalist moved nearly $1 million in the DAI stablecoin out of one of the wallets identified by zachxbt.
According to the SEC, Kwon "repeatedly misled and deceived investors" about the characteristics and stability of Terra and Luna, and tricked investors into believing that a popular Korean mobile payments platform used the Terra blockchain.
Kwon has been on the run from the law since Korean authorities filed a warrant for his arrest in September 2022. An Interpol red notice followed soon after. He is reportedly hiding out in Serbia, and Korean authorities reportedly traveled there in early February to hunt for him.
- "SEC Charges Terraform and CEO Do Kwon with Defrauding Investors in Crypto Schemes", United States Securities and Exchange Commission