Founders of Centra Tech’s Floyd Mayweather-Endorsed ICO Indicted for Securities Fraud

Jordana Sacks
  • ​​​​The three co-founders of crypto firm Centra Tech have been indicted by a grand jury.
  • Raymond Trapani, Sohrab Sharma, and Robert Farkas all stand accused of attempted fraud.

Monday was a busy day for Centra Tech founders Raymond Trapani, Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas, who each found themselves indicted by a grand jury following accusations of attempted theft.

According to the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the three men were allegedly planning to defraud their investors through a sale of the company’s tokens.

Following investigations, US Attorney Robert Khuzami revealed that authorities had recovered in excess of $60 million in funds from the three co-founders.

Trapani, Sharma, and Farkas have thus been charged with counts of conspiracy, the commission of securities, and wire fraud.

According to a statement released by The United States Attorney’s Office, Mr Khuzami said that the three men created: “a scheme to induce victims to invest millions of dollars’ worth of digital funds for the purpose of unregistered securities, in the form of digital currency tokens issued by Centra Tech.”

In addition to this, it is claimed that Trapani, Sharma, and Farkas also withheld important information regarding, in particular, the start-up’s claims about ties to payments companies, and in doing so, knowingly misled investors.

The token sale in question gained a large amount of attention following its endorsement by heavyweight boxer Floyd Mayweather, who claimed to have worked with Visa and Mastercard to create certain financial products. According to the SEC, however, such partnerships never actually existed.

The charges against the co-founders were first revealed in April 2018, when the US Securities and Exchange Commission initially filed fraud charges against Sharma and Farkas, before the Department of Justice made a case for criminal charges against all three of the men involved.

Sharma, Farkas, and Trapano are currently in custody pending further action from the courts.

JPMorgan Chase Positively Wades Into Crypto After Years of Hate

Colin Muller
  • JPMorgan is now servicing Gemini and Coinbase
  • The move represents a full reversal of JPM's stance
  • Crypto is now deeply institutionalized

The financial services giant and bank JPMorgan Chase & Co have seemingly reversed on a long-held stance, that crypto is bad, by beginning to service U.S. cryptoasset exchanges Gemini and Coinbase.

JPMorgan’s apparent reversal comes after years of institutionalized disdain for crypto, with the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon being a vociferous critic circa 2017. According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan had been conducting due diligence on the exchanges “for months” before making the move. The bank’s adoption of crypto signals what can only be a highly regulated crypto-fiat landscape.

During 2019, JPMorgan had in fact started to visibly thaw on the subject of crypto, even experimenting with their own distributed ledger tech in the form of the so-called “JPM Coin”.

Dimon displayed during an interview his awareness of the competition posed by crypto, directing his people to assume that crypto and/or Fintech was “coming [...] to eat your lunch.” Despite this, he was bearish on the prospect of Facebook’s Libra project succeeding or even launching, saying in October 2019 that it would “never happen”.

big dropJPM chart by TradingView

JPMorgan’s publically traded stock has fallen recently, retreating from all-time-highs set in December 2019 in February, even before the coronavirus pandemic started to wreck the markets in March. It is down about 37% from those highs, trading now at about $87.

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