The three co-founders of cryptocurrency startup Centra Tech have been formally indicted for running fraudulent ICO, according to a statement May 14 from the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the four-count indictment issued by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, all three Centra Tech co-founders Sohrab Sharma, Robert Farkas, and Raymond Trapani are being charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and two conspiracy counts.
Centra Tech’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) raised $32 mln from investors in 2017. The Florida-based defendants had misled investors by falsely claiming that their company had partnered with Visa MasterCard to issue virtual currency debit cards.
Centra Tech was previously promoted by celebrities Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled.
Late last month, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Robert Jackson expressed criticism of ICOs in general, claiming that investors “are having a hard time telling the difference between investments and fraud.”