Baller Apes Rugpull Scam: Founder Le Anh Traun might face 40 Years of prison

Le Anh Traun, the founder of the Baller Apes Club, is facing indictments for an alleged rugpull scam. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on, July 1, reported the criminal charges against Traun and five others entangled in crypto scam cases. If found guilty, the Baller Apes Club founder could face up to 40 years in prison. 

Baller Ape Club Rugpull Scam

What exactly went down with the Baller Apes Club founder?

As per the statement from the Department of Justice, the Baller Apes Club founder has been apprehended with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering. 

This report comes after Traun collected $2.6 million from the Baller Apes Club collectors, only to delete the project’s website. Thereafter, he altered all the funds into different cryptocurrencies, before pushing them across multiple blockchains. This form of money laundering dubbed “chain-hopping” is used to hide the fund trail. 

Also read, Is NFT Wash Trading a Crime?

Not the first rugpull scam case against an NFT founder

The Baller Apes Club rugpull is only one among a series of rugpulls that have been troubling the NFT industry. The list also contains a few other projects such as Balloonsville, Blockverse, and Bored Cat Club, to name a few. What’s more, in March 2022, the DOJ revealed the first case against an NFT founder. At the time, the department arrested two 20-year-olds behind the Frosties project for an apparent rugpull scam. 

US Attorney Tracy L Wilkison for the Central District of California mentions that these cases serve as a critical reminder that some con artists hide behind trendy buzzwords, but at the end of the day they are merely seeking to separate people from their money, and also emphasizes that they will continue to work with their law enforcement partners to educate and protect probable investors about both traditional and trendy investments.

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