“UndeadApes” and “Undead Lady Apes”

Florida And Alabama Man Charged After “Rug Pull” From NFT: DOJ

“UndeadApes” and “Undead Lady Apes”
“UndeadApes” and “Undead Lady Apes” (DOJ)

A Florida and Alabama man have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in the crypto world after a Rug Pull.’

If convicted, Devin Alan Rhoden, 24, Pinellas Park, a/k/a “Denny” and “Deviinz,” and Berman Jerry Nowlin, Jr., 20, Huntsville, AL, a/k/a “Repulse” and “Zayous,” each face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

According to court documents, in March 2022, Rhoden and Nowlin minted two non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the Solana blockchain named “UndeadApes” and “Undead Lady Apes.”

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In the weeks following the mint, the average sale price of both NFT collections increased significantly, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In April 2022, Rhoden and Nowlin announced their intention to mint a third NFT collection named “Undead Tombstone.” In the announcement and subsequent advertisements, Rhoden and Nowlin made a number of material misrepresentations to attract victim-investors.

On April 19, 2022, Rhoden and Nowlin minted 632 Undead Tombstone NFTs, resulting in approximately $135,000 USD in cryptocurrency being sent to wallets under Rhoden and Nowlin’s control. Rhoden and Nowlin then abandoned the mint without satisfying several of the representations made to victim-investors, commonly known as a “rug pull.”

Rhoden and Nowlin transferred the fraud proceeds from the Solana blockchain to the Ethereum blockchain, also known as “chain-hopping.”

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Cybercriminals and money launderers use this obfuscation technique to make identifying and tracing illicit funds more difficult.

Rhoden and Nowlin then used the cryptocurrency to purchase U.S. dollars and transferred the currency into their respective bank accounts.

In a matter of weeks, the three NFT collections resulted in Rhoden and Nowlin receiving more than $300,000 USD in cryptocurrency from hundreds of victim-investors all over the world.

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