UndeadApes Collection and Undead Lady Apes Collection

Two Indicted for NFT Fraud Scheme Involving Millions in Cryptocurrency

United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg has announced the return of an indictment charging Devin Alan Rhoden (24, Pinellas Park) and Berman Jerry Nowlin, Jr. (20, Huntsville, AL) with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. If convicted, Rhoden and Nowlin each face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

Court documents reveal that in March 2022, Rhoden and Nowlin created two non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the Solana blockchain called “UndeadApes” and “Undead Lady Apes.” Following the launch, the average sale price of both collections saw significant increases.

In April 2022, the duo announced plans for a third NFT collection named “Undead Tombstone,” making several false claims to lure investors. On April 19, 2022, they minted 632 Undead Tombstone NFTs, collecting approximately $135,000 USD in cryptocurrency. However, they failed to fulfill promises made to investors, resulting in what’s known as a “rug pull.”

Rhoden and Nowlin employed the technique of “chain-hopping,” transferring the fraud proceeds from the Solana blockchain to the Ethereum blockchain to evade detection. They then converted the cryptocurrency into U.S. dollars and deposited the funds into their bank accounts. Within weeks, the scheme garnered over $300,000 USD from hundreds of global investors.

An indictment signifies formal charges against a defendant and does not imply guilt, with defendants presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Department of Defense – Office of Inspector General, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

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