Atlanta Man Pleads Guilty to Crypto Fraud: Millions Stolen in Elaborate Investment Schemes

Ryan Felton admits to fraud in crypto schemes, deceiving investors and funding luxury lifestyle. Guilty of wire fraud, money laundering, and more.

In Atlanta, Ryan Felton admitted to several charges including wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering on the trial’s fourth day. His admission came in connection to his deceptive promotion of two crypto investment ventures, leading to substantial financial losses for investors.

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan remarked, “Felton deployed modern technology to execute a timeless scam: deceiving investors to embezzle funds for his opulent lifestyle.” Buchanan highlighted that Felton’s guilty plea stands as a stark warning to those exploiting new tech to defraud individuals. FBI Atlanta’s Special Agent in Charge, Keri Farley, noted, “While technology progresses, the essence of the crime remains unchanged.

Crypto investors must exercise caution towards seemingly flawless offers.” Farley affirmed the FBI’s dedication to safeguarding investors from advanced crypto frauds exploiting digital currency’s innovative allure. Court presentations revealed that in 2017, Felton launched an initial coin offering (ICO) for FLiK, an entertainment streaming platform he claimed would rival Netflix. ICOs involve the public sale of a new cryptocurrency token or coin to raise funds.

Felton inflated the FLiK coins’ value through false claims, including endorsement by a notable Atlanta rapper and actor, a non-existent contract with the U.S. military for platform distribution, and uninitiated licensing negotiations with major studios. Post-ICO, Felton sold over 40 million FLiK coins, crashing their value. Rather than developing FLiK with the ICO’s proceeds, Felton redirected around $2.4 million for personal use, indulging in luxury items and property. In 2018, Felton introduced another ICO for CoinSpark, a new cryptocurrency exchange, promising investors a share of its profits.

He fabricated auditing assurances and used aliases online to hype the ICO, which failed to deliver on its promises, leading to diverted funds and ignored refund requests. At 48, the Atlanta resident, Ryan Felton, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of wire fraud, 10 counts of money laundering, and two counts of securities fraud. His sentencing awaits scheduling by U.S. District Court Judge J.P. Boulee. The FBI is investigating the case.

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