NFT Collection Founder Admits Fraud in Historic Case
Aurelien Michel, the 25-year-old behind the Mutant Ape Planet NFT collection, made headlines in a Brooklyn federal courthouse by admitting guilt to wire fraud charges, marking a historic first in U.S. legal history.
Allegations pointed to his involvement in a scheme that deceived Mutant Ape NFT holders, resulting in losses nearing $3 million.
The fraudulent activity, commonly known as a “rug pull,” revolves around creators selling NFTs under false pretenses, then abandoning the project while taking investors’ money.
Michel openly confessed to conducting such actions within the Mutant Ape Planet community, citing its toxicity as a reason.
Crypto investigator Zachxbt uncovered Michel’s wallet involvement in two additional NFT rug pull cases—Fashion Ape NFT and Crazy Camels—resulting in a combined scam amount of $2.7 million from investors.
Michel now confronts a potential sentence of up to five years in federal prison and has consented to forfeit $1.4 million.
His admission of guilt underscores the government’s dedication to combatting fraudulent behavior within the rapidly evolving digital asset realm.