The founder of a successful ICO was charged yesterday by the authorities in the US with massive tax evasion.
DoJ charges “Oyster Pearl” founder
Amir Bruno Elmaani, the founder of Oyster Pearl, a storied 2017 ICO that raised millions in token sales before fizzling out like 98% of all coins hyped at the time, was the announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the southern borough of New Delivered to York.
Do you remember oyster
Previously known in crypto circles as the anonymous “Bruno Block” from Ethereum Code (before his identity was discovered), Elmaani reportedly raised millions of dollars in person without notifying the Internal Revenue Services of his winnings or filing a false tax return.
He has also been caught running his business and assets through pseudonyms and mailbox companies.
According to authorities, Elmaani has used friends and family as nominees at various points to receive proceeds from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and to transfer them or US currency to his own accounts. In addition, he was found to have traded „heavily“ in precious metals, kept gold bars in a safe on a yacht he owned and used large amounts of cash to pay for personal expenses.
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr.:
„By taking advantage of the increasingly popular cryptocurrency market, Elmaani has reportedly capitalized on the investments of those who bought virtual currencies through the Oyster Pearl, which he founded.“
Sweeney Jr .: „With minimal reported income in 2018, he still managed to spend over $ 10 million buying yachts, but after today’s arrest, he will be sailing nowhere for the near future.“
A look back at the scam
Oyster Pearl gained massive hype in 2017 for its decentralized file sharing and management system that ran on the Ethereum blockchain. Its PRL tokens had a supply of 98 million in circulation and were trading for over $ 3.2 at the top – grossing millions of dollars for insiders, token buyers and owners.
But the whole thing was an elaborate hoax. Elmaani printed 3 million PRL tokens in mid-2018 and pulled out of the project, with the website going down and the exchanges taking PRL off the market in the months that followed. However, the project is still worth over $ 42 million (likely tokens still held by investors).
The project’s development team (and a better CEO) then branched off the Oyster code to launch Opacity – this time with founders known by name.
The coin currently has a tiny market capitalization of $ 752,000 and lives as a mere shadow of what it was once imagined to be.