United States v. Le Ahn Tuan (Court Docket: 2:22-cr-273)

United States v. Emerson Pires, Flavio Goncalves, & Joshua David Nicholas (Court Docket: 2:22-cr-20296)

United States v. Michael Alan Stollery (Court Docket: 2:22-cr-207)

United States v. David Saffron (Court Docket: 2:22-cr-276)

The Department has announced criminal charges against six defendants in four separate cases for their alleged involvement in cryptocurrency-related fraud, including the largest known Non-Fungible Token (NFT) scheme charged to date, a fraudulent investment fund that purportedly traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, a global Ponzi scheme involving the sale of unregistered crypto securities, and a fraudulent initial coin offering.

If you believe you may be a victim in the Baller Ape Club, EmpiresX, or TBIS schemes and/or any scheme involving David Saffron or Circle Society, you may submit a Victim Impact Statement.

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Latest Updates: The arraignment for Defendant Nicholas was held on July 15, 2022. The jury trial previously phối for August 15, 2022 has been continued to January 3, 2023 in Miami Division, Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse, 400 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33128 before Judge Jose E. Martinez.

Case Overviews:

United States v. Le Ahn Tuan: Le Anh Tuan, 26, a Vietnamese national, was charged with one count of conspiracy lớn commit wire fraud & one count of conspiracy lớn commit international money laundering in the Central District of California in connection with a scheme involving the Baller Ape Club, an NFT investment project that purportedly sold NFTs in the khung of various cartoon figures, often including the figure of an ape. According to the indictment, shortly after the first day Baller Ape Club NFTs were publicly sold, Tuan và his co-conspirators engaged in what is known as a “rug pull,” ending the purported investment project, deleting its website, & stealing the investors’ money. Shortly after the rug pull, Tuan và his co-conspirators laundered investors’ funds through “chain-hopping,” a form of money laundering in which one type of coin is converted lớn another type & funds are moved across multiple cryptocurrency blockchains, and used decentralized cryptocurrency swap services khổng lồ obscure the trail of Baller Ape investors’ stolen funds. In total, Tuan và his co-conspirators obtained approximately $2.6 million from investors into cryptocurrency wallet addresses under their control.

For more information about United States v. Tuan, please see below:


Press Release

United States v. Emerson Pires, Flavio Goncalves, và Joshua David Nicholas: Emerson Pires, 33 and Flavio Goncalves, 33, both Brazilian nationals, and Joshua David Nicholas, 28, of Stuart, Florida, were each charged in the Southern District of Florida with one count of conspiracy lớn commit wire fraud và one count of conspiracy to lớn commit securities fraud in connection with a global cryptocurrency-based Ponzi scheme that generated approximately $100 million from investors. Pires & Goncalves also were charged with conspiracy to lớn commit international money laundering. The indictment alleges that Pires and Goncalves, both founders of EmpiresX, along with Nicholas, the so-called “Head Trader” for EmpiresX, fraudulently promoted EmpiresX, a cryptocurrency investment platform & unregistered securities offering, by making numerous misrepresentations regarding, among other things, a purported proprietary trading bot, and fraudulently guaranteeing returns lớn investors and prospective investors in EmpiresX. As alleged in the indictment, blockchain analytics shows that Pires & Goncalves then laundered investors’ funds through a foreign-based cryptocurrency exchange and operated a Ponzi scheme by paying earlier investors with money obtained from later EmpiresX investors.

For more information about United States v. Pires et al., please see below:

Press Release

United States v. Michael Alan Stollery: Michael Alan Stollery, 54, of Reseda, California, was the CEO & founder of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services (“TBIS”), a purported cryptocurrency investment platform. Stollery was charged in an information filed in the Central District of California with one count of securities fraud for his role in a cryptocurrency fraud scheme involving TBIS’s initial coin offering, which raised approximately $21 million from investors in the United States & overseas. Stollery allegedly lured investors by falsifying TBIS white papers (a document for prospective investors that typically explains how the technology underlying the cryptocurrency works và the purpose of the cryptocurrency project), planting fake testimonials on TBIS’s website, và fabricating purported business relationships with the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and dozens of prominent companies, including táo bị cắn dở Inc., Pfizer Inc., và The Walt Disney Company to lớn create the appearance of legitimacy.

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For more information about United States v. Stollery, please see below:

Criminal Information

Press Release

For more information about United States v. Saffron, please see below:



Victim Impact Statement: If you would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement you may vày so by mailing the Victim Impact Statement below to: Victim Witness Unit, U.S. Department of onfire-bg.com, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530. You also may submit the Victim Impact Statement via e-mail at VictimAssistance.fraud
usdoj.gov or by fax at: (202) 514-3708.

US v. Tuan – Victim Impact Statement (PDF)

US v. Pires et al. – Victim Impact Statement (PDF)

US v. Stollery – Victim Impact Statement (PDF)

US v. Saffron – Victim Impact Statement (PDF)

The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please hotline the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at VictimAssistance.fraud

Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that an indictment contains allegations only, và that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. That presumption requires both the court & our office to take certain steps to lớn ensure that onfire-bg.com is served.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act & Right to lớn Retain Counsel: The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only lớn victims of the counts charged in federal court, và thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged. Section 3771(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right lớn retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard lớn your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the government (or the court) pay for counsel khổng lồ represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.

usdoj.gov. If you elect not khổng lồ retain counsel to represent your interests, you vì chưng not need to bởi vì anything.

Plea Agreements: Please be aware that many criminal cases are resolved by plea agreement between the Department of onfire-bg.com và the defendant. If you want lớn inform the prosecutor of your views regarding the plea agreement, or any other aspect of the case, please hotline the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at VictimAssistance.fraud

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