Quick Rug Pull: United States Justice Dep’t Charges Two 20-Year-Olds In declared $1.1 Million NFT Scam

Buyers who purchase fashionable brand-new jobs are hurt by a so-called NFT carpet pull or other associated rip-offs. However, the crypto area’s pseudonymous nature does not imply that declared criminals might constantly disappear without consequences, as a set of NFT developers found out.

The United States Department of Justice charged 2 guys with scams and cash laundering on Friday in connection with a bitcoin carpet pull conspiracy.

Andre Llacuna and Ethan Nguyen supposedly got roughly $1.1 million by offering non-fungible tokens based upon snowman-like characters called “Frosties.”

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Frosties NFTs Sell Like Hotcakes

Frosties start on the OpenSea secondary market for just 0.001 ETH (about $3). They were at first cost 0.04 ETH, which was comparable to around $112 at the time of minting.

Frosties was a fiercely prepared for effort whose 8,888 NFTs offered out within an hour of their public launching.

The deal was to give customers unique rights to free gifts, a metaverse-based video game utilizing 3D avatars, and passes to future seasons of the NFTs.

But, on or about Jan. 9, authorities declared, Nguyen and Llacuna deserted the effort and moved $1.1 million in bitcoin profits from the conspiracy to other cryptocurrency wallets they handled.

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Crypto overall market cap at $1.98 trillion on the day-to-day chart | Source:

When the 2 were jailed in Los Angeles, authorities stated they were marketing a 2nd, similar effort called “Embers” that was arranged to begin later on today.

Embers’ roadmap consists of a $50,000 contribution to charity and a community-controlled wallet to keep a quarter of the preliminary sales profits — and while the Red Cross acknowledged getting the contribution, the latter pledge appears much more uncertain.

First NFT Rug Pull Defendants

Nguyen (a.k.a. “Frostie” and other pseudonyms) and Llacuna (“heyandre”) are amongst the very first criminal NFT offenders in the carpet pull age – a possibly watershed case in the blossoming NFT service, which is anticipated to produce roughly $25 billion in overall trading volume in 2021 alone.

A “rug pull” is a term that describes events in which the authors of a task offer NFTs based upon incorrect claims of future advantages and energy, however then vanish with the funds.

Typically, the NFTs suffer a big loss of worth as an outcome, provided the low likelihood of future advantages.

In a news release, United States Attorney Damian Williams specified:

“Mr. Nguyen and Mr. Llacuna promised investors the benefits of the Frosties NFTs, but after they sold out, they quickly shut down the website and transferred the funds.”

The United States Justice Department just recently revealed an increased concentrate on digital asset-related offenses by developing a nationwide cryptocurrency enforcement group.

Featured image from The Verge, chart from

Michael Evans

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