Michael Stollery, the CEO of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, has confessed about his participation in a scam worth millions of dollars. Stollery has pleaded guilty in raising $21 million (roughly Rs. 167 crore) via a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) four years ago, in 2018. As per legal documents, Stollery did not register the ICO with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a probe into which caught the attention of the US officials. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has posted an official post, detailing more about the case.
“Michael Alan Stollery, 54, of Reseda, California, was the CEO and founder of TBIS, a purported cryptocurrency investment platform, and touted TBIS as a cryptocurrency investment opportunity, luring investors to purchase ‘BARs,’ the cryptocurrency token or coin offered by TBIS’s ICO, through a series of false and misleading statements,” said the statement by the DoJ.
In order to create an illusion of legitimacy, Stollery said he forged the whitepaper for BAR and also posted fake comments endorsing the token pretending to be other investors.
The crypto fraudster, who used chunks of the fund for credit card payments and financing a condo in Hawaii, now stares up to 20 years in the prison on the counts of securities fraud.
“Stollery pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 18 and faces up to 20 years in prison,” the DoJ document noted.
This is the second incident in recent days where a crypto scamster has confessed to have duped innocent investors under the pretence of offering an ICO.
Ryan Felton, a Hollywood producer from Atlanta, recently pleaded guilty to have been scamming crypto investors in order to maintain his extravagant lifestyle. Felton has admitted to have bagged $2.5 million (roughly Rs. 20 crore) in crypto frauds.
Crypto firms or entrepreneurs looking to get a funding to support the launch of a new coin, app, or service launch ICOs. In return, investors in the ICOs get access to special rewards upon the final launch of the coin.