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.

Brazil’s Securities Watchdog Blocks Binance From Offering Derivatives

  • Brazil's SEC has blocked Binance from offering derivatives products in the country.
  • Brazilian regulators ruled that derivative contracts are securities, regardless of whether they involve crypto-assets. 

Brazil’s equivalent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM), has blocked leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance from offering derivative products in the country. 

According to an order published July 6, reported on by local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, Brazilian regulators claimed derivative contracts are securities, regardless of whether the underlying assets are cryptocurrencies. 

The order reads, 

It remains evident that there are indications that the company BINANCE FUTURES, through the page '"www.binance.com" on the world wide web, captures customers residing in Brazil with a public offering of derivative intermediation services.

The order continued, adding that Binance “does not hold authorization” to act as an intermediary for securities in the country. 

The CVM determined that Binance must immediately suspend the “broadcasting of any public offering of securities intermediation services,” including derivatives products or else face a daily fine of R $1,000 ($186). 

The order fails to clarify whether Binance’s spot trading services will continue to be allowed to operate in Brazil, as opposed to only banning their derivative offerings. 

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