Five indictments in Paris for theft of NFTs worth an estimated $2.5 million

They would have fraudulently recovered NFT property, including monkey heads bored monkey, popular with stars like Neymar, American rapper Eminem and Paris Hilton

Five people were charged in Paris on Wednesday, suspected of forming a network that fraudulently reclaims ownership of elements of a collection “very popularof NFT, these certificates of authenticity linked to digital objects, the Paris prosecutor’s office told AFP. These five young people are being prosecuted in the context of a judicial investigation opened this Wednesday for fraud in an organized gang, money laundering of this crime and association of criminals.

They allegedly fraudulently regained ownership of these NFTs, especially monkey heads, between late 2021 and early 2022. bored monkey, the value of which is estimated at $2.5 million according to the same source. The Paris prosecutor’s office said it opened an investigation into these NFT thefts on Aug. 23, entrusted to the Central Office for Combating Crime Related to Information and Communication Technologies (OCLCTIC).

Christophe Durand, the deputy head of this service, explained to AFP that the investigation had begun “end of 2021 initiative“, by observing the investigations on the Internet into these alleged thefts carried out by an Internet user.

Under the pseudonym ZachXBT, this Internet user leaned on “the annoyances of the limited series monkey owners community Bored Ape Yacht Club,” said Christophe Durand. In this circle, PSG footballer Neymar, American rapper Eminem and Paris Hilton have already shown their membership.

The modus operandi described was as follows: the individuals declared via a website to the owners of these NFTs that they could convert their static digital artworks into animated files. There is said to be a phishing site behind it, causing victims to unknowingly hand over their NFT transfer codes.

According to the Paris prosecutor’s office, five victims have been identified, one of whom allegedly stole three NFTs, for damage estimated at $2.5 million. One of these monkeys alone would be worth nearly a million dollars. The OCLCTIC on Monday placed in police custody seven people, five young people born between 1998 and 2003, living in Paris, Caen and Tours, and the parents of one of them, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. According to the prosecution, the parents of one of the defendants have been released without charge at this stage.

Of the five indicted, two are suspected of making the site and marketing, and three others of advertising and money laundering, Christophe Durand said. Two of these five young men, already identified by the ZachXBT investigation, are considered central by the courts. The Paris prosecutor’s office has remanded claims against them.

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