UK Nationals Indicted for $3 Million ETH Scam in Evolved Apes NFT Rug Pull Case

  • A serious development has come forth in the crypto world as three UK nationals are indicted for their involvement in a $3 million NFT scam known as ‘Evolved Apes’.
  • The individuals face serious charges, including wire fraud and money laundering, escalated by U.S. authorities.
  • Federal officials underscored the severity of the scam, emphasizing their commitment to holding those responsible accountable.

An in-depth look into the ‘Evolved Apes’ NFT scandal reveals the dark side of the booming digital art market, with $3 million lost to fraudulent activities.

‘Evolved Apes’ NFT Scam Exposed

Recently, authorities in the U.S. publicly charged three men from the United Kingdom for their alleged involvement in the infamous ‘Evolved Apes’ NFT scam. This $3 million scandal rocked the crypto space in 2021, with the project’s anonymous developer, Evil Ape, making off with investors’ funds. Promised as a thrilling project comprising 10,000 unique NFTs, the initiative ended up as a classic case of a rug pull, leaving investors high and dry.

Background and Initial Attraction

The ‘Evolved Apes’ project attracted nearly $2.9 million in Ethereum (ETH) within just a week, as it captivated investors with the prospect of a dynamic fighting game. However, following the sale, the project’s official channels, including its website and social media, were abruptly deleted. With a significant number of red flags such as unprofessional announcements and lack of engagement from the development team, suspicions quickly grew among the NFT’s investors.

Criminal Charges and Legal Proceedings

Three years after the fraudulent scheme was exposed, NY authorities have identified and indicted Mohamed-Amin Atcha, Mohamed Rolaz Waleedh, and Daood Hassan. They are accused of money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, facing potential sentences of up to 20 years for each charge. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has highlighted their commitment to cracking down on scams that exploit investor trust, regardless of the industry.

Federal Statements and Future Outlook

Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stressed that misleading investors with deceptive promises constitutes a straightforward violation of federal law. Similarly, FBI’s Assistant Director in Charge, James Smith, reaffirmed the Bureau’s dedication to tracking and prosecuting individuals who perpetrate such fraudulent schemes. This case underscores persistent issues within the NFT marketplace, highlighting the drastic decrease in the value and interest in NFTs over the past two years. The current climate suggests that around 95% of NFTs have lost their value, with collectible pieces that were once worth millions now valued at less than $100.


The ‘Evolved Apes’ scam serves as a potent reminder of the risks inherent in the NFT and broader cryptocurrency markets. While digital assets offer innovative opportunities, the potential for fraud remains a significant concern. As authorities remain vigilant, investors are urged to exercise due diligence and caution. The repercussions of the ‘Evolved Apes’ scandal illustrate the critical need for enhanced regulatory scrutiny and investor awareness within this rapidly evolving digital landscape.

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Jocelyn Blake
Jocelyn Blake
Jocelyn Blake is a 29-year-old writer with a particular interest in NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). With a love for exploring the latest trends in the cryptocurrency space, Jocelyn provides valuable insights on the world of NFTs.

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