According to the court filing, the Secret Service was authorized to seize up to $58.5 million after establishing there was probable cause for wire fraud, bank fraud, or money laundering. The affidavit describes "organized, international criminal money laundering syndicates operating cryptocurrency investment and other wire fraud scams" which allegedly fraudulently induced victims to "transfer money into shell companies, at which point the money underwent a series of transfers, generally ending overseas, designed to conceal the source, nature, ownership, and control of the funds".
The scheme reportedly involved fake crypto sites that tricked victims into depositing money under the belief that they were investing it. Like many such scams, the sites appeared to show victims' investments increasing in value, inducing them to deposit more funds. However, when they tried to withdraw, they found they could not.
The announcement referred to wanting to "design a game that's more in line with what the community has been asking for", a nod to the backlash from the Neopets community when the company decided to go web3. In September 2021, one of the most popular Neopets fan communities tweeted, "The Neopets community overwhelmingly rejects the new NFT cashgrab project. We're hard pressed finding someone outside of the NFT community that wants this."
Holders of Neopets NFTs seemed somewhat split on the announcement that the NFTs would remain tradable on secondary markets, but would not be incorporated into any game. Some described the project as a "rug", and were disappointed that the NFTs they'd purchased would never be useful in-game. "Once an NFT has no use, the price tends to tank", one person (accurately) remarked. Another commented that they'd always viewed the NFTs as little more than a collectible, and were satisfied with it never going beyond that.
Five men, including inspector in bankruptcy proceeding, charged with kidnapping "Crypto King" alleged scammer
As an inspector in the bankruptcy, Heywood would have had access to details from the investigation by the bankruptcy trustee. Heywood is, incidentally, also charged with threatening the trustee in an attempt to get him to pay out $2 million in crypto. Shortly before the alleged kidnapping, Pleterski stated in an interview for the bankruptcy proceedings that Heywood had been "still, by the way, uttering threats, and very dangerous, violent threats, to me over Instagram comment sections and text messages".
Heywood has told reporters he is innocent.
On July 14, a community manager wrote on Discord that "Hector Network ha[d] suffered significant damage to its ability to operate" after the Multichain collapse, and that the project faced a choice between liquidating the treasury and winding down or migrating to a new blockchain and trying to rebuild. The community chose the former.
According to a post on Discord, the winding-down process will likely take 6 to 12 months as the project appoints a liquidator, legal counsel, and auditor.
Soup was exposed by crypto sleuth zachxbt, who also described how the scammer had spent some of his ill-gotten funds on exclusive Roblox items that sell for "high 5 figs".
Geist paused their smart contracts on July 6, then reenabled the withdraw and repay functions on July 9, while waiting for news from Multichain. Now that Multichain has confirmed that the missing hundreds of millions will not be recovered, Geist has announced they will not reopen. If they were to do so, the platform would almost immediately take on bad debt as people exploited the price discrepancies.
Multichain added, "Just to be clear this is in no way an attempt to blame Chainlink oracles which worked as they should. There are no oracles for the Multichain assets themselves because there was the expectation to exchange them 1:1. Nobody is to blame except Multichain here."
The Multichain project claimed in a lengthy Twitter thread that the team attempted to keep the project running by using stored credentials on Zhaojun's home computer, thanks to access provided by his sister. However, they say that the July 6–7 movement of $130 million out of the project was an "abnormal" transfer by an unknown party. They claim that the July 9–10 transfer of around $107 million was his sister attempting to preserve assets by moving them into wallets she controlled. According to the team, his sister also was arrested on July 13, and "the status of the assets she has preserved is uncertain".
"Due to the lack of alternative sources of information and corresponding operational funds, the team is forced to cease operations," they wrote. They also claimed that they don't have control over the domain pointing to the frontend of the project, and so are unable to take the project offline, and resorted to pleading with GoDaddy for help in doing so.
"Honestly he deserves jail for this level of cryptography incompetence alone," wrote crypto personality 0xfoobar on Twitter.
Alongside the indictment from the DOJ, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) each filed their own separate lawsuits against Mashinsky and Celsius.
These latest lawsuits join an existing lawsuit, filed in January 2023, against Mashinsky by the New York Attorney General.
According to Todd in a YouTube video, "We do not need to do KYC. [...] You should not have to give them because the U.S. government or whatever other [expletive] government in the world says that you need to. You do not need to. You just do not." Well, in that case.
Todd was also accused of trying to artificially inflate the price of the DGTX token by buying it on third-party exchanges, writing out his plans in excruciating detail with a customer who provided him funds to use on pumping the token.