ATLANTA — A film producer has pleaded responsible to a number of counts of fraud and cash laundering arising from his fraudulent promotion of two cryptocurrency funding schemes, federal prosecutors stated.
Ryan Felton, 48, entered the plea on the fourth day of his jury trial in his hometown of Atlanta on Thursday.
“The defendant used twenty first century know-how to perpetrate an age-old fraud: mendacity to buyers to steal their cash and fund his personal lavish life-style,” U.S. Legal professional Ryan Ok. Buchanan stated in a information launch. “Felton’s conviction ought to function a warning to anybody who seeks to capitalize on rising know-how to victimize others.”
Investigators stated Felton, in 2017, promoted an preliminary coin providing, or ICO, for an leisure streaming platform promising to surpass Netflix. Prosecutors stated he falsely promoted that Atlanta rapper T.I. was co-owner of the FLiK platform, the U.S. navy had agreed to distribute the platform to service members, and FLiK was finalizing licensing offers with main movie and tv studios.
As an alternative of utilizing investor funds to develop the platform, Felton used round $2.4 million from buyers to fund an extravagant life-style. He purchased a $1.5 million residence, a Ferrari, a Chevy Tahoe, and about $30,000 in diamond jewellery, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Northern District of Georgia stated.
Felton promoted a second ICO for a brand new firm in 2018. Investigators say he raised greater than $200,000 for CoinSpark and once more diverted cash to his private checking account.
“The know-how has superior, however the crime stays the identical, and those that put money into cryptocurrency should be cautious of alternatives that seem too good to be true,” stated Keri Farley, Particular Agent in Cost of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI is dedicated to defending buyers from refined cryptocurrency scammers that search to capitalize on the novelty of digital foreign money.”
Felton pleaded responsible to 12 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of cash laundering, and two counts of securities fraud.
Sentencing shall be scheduled at a later date earlier than U.S. District Decide J.P. Boulee.