Titanium Blockchain CEO pleads guilty to $ 21 million ICO fraud

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Michael Alan Stollery, CEO of blockchain firm Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services (TBIS), pleaded guilty to stock fraud in a $ 21 million cryptocurrency scam. The Californian admitted that he falsified details regarding the BAR coin, a crowdfunding token that was supposed to be registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, but he was not.

The TBIS scam was one of many shady initial coin offerings, or ICOs, in the late 10’s. According to the complaint, between 2017 and 2018, Stollery launched TBIS as a new company and highlighted his piece with a series of elaborate false claims. TBIS stressed the lack of links with companies such as Apple, Boeing and IBM. Some of the partners complained to which Stollery apparently replied that I didn’t know there was a procedure etc. The company also offered a variety of allegedly registered services for which it had no registered trademarks. (Perhaps more importantly, it appears the services did not exist and the TBIS partner company appeared to be an IT service provider and equipment reseller.)

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The list of these unbranded names includes painfully silly terms like business-as-a-service, which sadly are also used outside the world of blockchain scams, as well as interesting products like Vordex, ostensibly a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. . exchange:

The TBIS white papers and other marketing materials included detailed descriptions of different products and services that would be available on the TBIS platform, as well as the slogans used by TBIS: Company as a Service, Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC), DEXchange, Mining as a Service, Instant ICO Incubator, Desktop as a Service (DaaS), CryptoEscrow, The Ultimate Force of Blockchain Unleashed, VORDEX.

Like many blockchain projects, TBIS set out its plans for the future in a white paper, promising that its BAR token would be useful for accessing a platform that offers real services. It has recruited at least 75 people who paid in cash and likely more than paid with other cryptocurrencies, which appear to have raised around $ 21 million. But at least $ 200,000 of that money went into Stollery’s bank account, $ 50,000 was used to pay for credit card bills, and some were used for non-TBIS payments, such as the accounts for Stollery Stollery’s Hawaii apartment. .

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Additionally, TBIS claimed there was a major BAR hack and issued a second coin, TBAR, to replace it. However, the original BAR coin continued to trade on the exchange.

Titanium was one of many ICO projects to face fraud allegations during a coin-based fundraising wave around 2017 and 2018, and the SEC even created its own fake website to warn buyers of fraud. Much of today’s alleged fraud involves non-fungible tokens or NFT projects, but the legal system is still catching up with ICOs. Stollery will be sentenced in November for fraud and will face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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