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.

Cryptocurrency ATM Operator Gives Hong Kong Protestors Water Paid With BCH Donations

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto ATM provider Genesis Block gave water bottles and umbrellas to protestors in Hong Kong. 
  • Supplies were paid for with international donations made in bitcoin cash. 

Cryptocurrency hub Genesis Block has taken an active role in the ongoing Hong Kong protests, by providing water bottles and umbrellas to demonstrators funded with Bitcoin Cash. 

Hong Kong Protests

According to a report by Forbes, the items were paid for with international donations made in bitcoin cash. Genesis Block, which operates cryptocurrency ATMs in the region, included BCH QR codes on the supplies to allow protestors to further contribute. The umbrellas were given as a symbolic nod to the 2014 ‘Umbrella Revolution’ in Hong Kong, during which hundreds of thousands of residents took to the streets in protest. 

The current movement has extended into its eleventh week of protest, with an estimated 1.7 million people--roughly 25% of the population of Hong Kong--participating in the demonstrations over the weekend. 

Cryptocurrency advocates have been taking an interest in the region’s struggle for autonomy against China, with many seeing a connection to using decentralized currencies in lieu of national fiat. Data from P2P bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins shows that citizens of Hong Kong are paying an average of $300 or more in premium to purchase bitcoin. 

The ongoing struggle in Hong Kong has also contributed to the brewing atmosphere of distrust in centralized systems, which some analysts are predicting will help adoption for crypto.

A report from Delphi Digital at the beginning of the month called these global economic factors a potential “perfect storm” for the price of bitcoin leading into the second half of the year.