Ryan Felton, an Atlanta film producer, has pleaded guilty in connection to a crypto-scam that saw him extort more than $2.5 million from crypto investors.
Film producer was indicted in the US for his activities in relation to the crypto projects CoinSpark and Flik. He reportedly pleaded guilty within four days of the proceedings.
Felton is facing multiple charges including wire fraud and securities fraud. The US Department of Justice disclosed this in a Press Release.
Scam by 2017 ICO
Ryan K. Buchanan, US Attorney, stated in the release that Felton started his fraudulent scheme in 2017, during the initial coin-offering boom.
The charges allege that the producer promoted an ICO for FLiK using the huge interest in cryptocurrencies at that time. He also claimed to victims that it was designed to rival or even surpass streaming giant Netflix.
The coin was sold in a huge public auction after Felton misrepresented FLiK as a co-owner and falsely linked FLiK with a US actor and rapper.
He also claimed that FLiK had a distribution agreement signed with the US military, and that content licensing was with a major Hollywood studio. After stealing approximately $2.4 million from FLiK investors, he went on to divert additional funds from CoinSpark (a cryptocurrency exchange that raised more than $200,000) to his personal account.
Lifestyle that is sexy
According to the prosecution, Felton used the money for his “extravagant life style”, buying a $1.5million residence in an all-cash deal. Felton also purchased a 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB, a Chevy Tahoe at $58,250, and $30,000 worth of diamond jewelry.
Buchanan stated that the defendant used 21st-century technology to commit an age-old fraud: lying about investors to steal their funds and finance his lavish lifestyle.
He believes that Felton’s conviction will deter others from seeking such ways to get money from investors.
The DOJ stated in a press release that Felton, 48, awaits sentencing.