In recent news, Bryan Lee, a 57-year-old Las Vegas resident, has been charged for orchestrating a massive Metaverse scam. This scam amounts to more than $45 million. Yesterday, Federal prosecutors unveiled that Lee and his co-conspirators allegedly duped nearly 10,000 investors by fabricating a Metaverse project with its unique cryptocurrency token.
The fraudulent scheme was based on CoinDeal and was falsely presented as a family of businesses working on developing virtual reality products. Investors were drawn to the scheme with promises of extravagant returns once the crypto token was sold for billions of dollars in the future.
The indictment implies that Lee took part in conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and criminal monetary transactions. Indictments linked to this large-scale scam date back to June of 2022. Lee is alleged to have collaborated with three other individuals. All of his collaborators promised investors that they were in discussions with a potential “consortium of wealthy buyers.” This Metaverse scam is one of the biggest of its kind.
The investors were led to believe that the funds raised were required to cover operating expenses until the sale of the crypto token was realized. However, prosecutors claim that the accused splurged the funds on high-end vehicles and premium real estate.
Two unnamed billionaires were fraudulently advertised as part of the potential buying group. However, none of the two knew about what was going on. The descriptions match the profiles of Jeff Bezos, founder and executive chairman of a popular online retail company; and Elon Musk, the CEO of a leading electric car company.
Neil Chandran, The Partner In Crime
Neil Chandran allegedly directed Lee. He portrayed himself as the owner of the conglomerate. Michael Glaspie, a Florida resident who assisted in gathering investor funds, is another key figure in the scheme.
While Lee was not named in the January complaint by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Chandran and Glaspie were charged along with five others for the unregistered offer and sale of securities in relation to the CoinDeal investment scheme. An unnamed co-conspirator, known only as Individual-1, is also charged with raising and laundering money for Chandran. The SEC has charged a Nevada resident, Garry Davidson, whose description aligns with that of Individual-1.
Chandran was arrested and charged in June 2022. Glaspie admitted to wire fraud in February and pleaded guilty. Chandran, a “recidivist securities law violator and convicted felon” as described in the SEC complaint, allegedly targeted mainly unsophisticated investors, leading them to believe his technology would sell for “trillions of dollars” to the phony billionaire-backed consortium. As this case continues to unfold, it serves as a sobering reminder of the potential risks lurking in the fast-evolving crypto and Metaverse landscape.