The Fraud Chronicles feat. Coffeezilla
FTX + Coffeezilla Commentary (00:01:40)
- FTX was a crypto exchange and hedge fund founded by Sam Bankman-Fried in 2019.
- FTX funneled customer money for personal expenses and risky trades carried out by a sister firm, Alameda Research, run by Caroline Ellison.
- FTX collapsed in November 2022 after news broke that its books contained a large number of tokens backed by nothing.
- Sam Bankman-Fried was charged with stealing at least $10 billion from FTX customers.
- Coffeezilla confronted Sam Bankman-Fried in interviews, highlighting his misleading statements and lack of transparency.
- Sam Bankman-Fried's trial began in October 2023, and his ex-girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, testified against him.
- Coffeezilla expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the trial and the consequences for Sam Bankman-Fried.
Safemoon Crypto Scam (00:08:27)
- SafeMoon was a cryptocurrency launched in March 2021 with the promise of a guaranteed price increase.
- It used a system that put a 10% fee on every transaction, with half of the fees locked in a liquidity pool.
- The creators of SafeMoon had backdoor access to the liquidity pool and withdrew more than $200 million from the project.
- The SEC and the Department of Justice charged the top executives of SafeMoon with fraud.
- Celebrities and YouTubers promoted SafeMoon without disclosing their financial relationships or the risks involved.
Charlie Javis Scamming JP Morgan (00:10:52)
- Charlie Javis was the founder and CEO of Frank, a fintech startup that claimed to help students access financial aid and scholarships.
- Javis fabricated user data to inflate the value of Frank and deceive JP Morgan into buying the startup for $175 million.
- JP Morgan realized the scam after failing to contact the users provided by Javis and sued her.
- The SEC charged Javis with securities fraud, wire and bank fraud, and money laundering.
- JP Morgan has also been accused of rigging the gold and silver markets for years.
Credit Suisse Disaster (00:12:30)
- Credit Suisse, a prestigious Swiss bank, faced a series of scandals and crises in recent years.
- The bank was involved in fraud, funneling money for weapons to foreign governments, and spying on a former executive.
- Credit Suisse lost nearly $1 billion in two investment funds in 2021, leading to the resignation of its chairman.
- Clients withdrew $119 billion from the bank by the end of 2022, causing a liquidity crisis.
- Credit Suisse failed to raise enough capital to stay afloat and was sold to its rival, UBS, for $3.3 billion in March 2023.
- The downfall of Credit Suisse questioned the "too big to fail" notion for banks and Switzerland's position as a safe global banking hub.
TikTok Australian GST Scam (00:14:52)
- The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) blamed TikTok influencers for promoting a scam that resulted in $1.2 billion in fake GST claims.
- The scam exploited the Australian tax system by creating fake businesses, submitting false statements, and claiming GST refunds.
- The scheme gained traction through TikTok, where influencers promoted it as an easy way to make money from the government.
- The ATO detected the fraud in early 2022 and launched an investigation called Operation Proto, stopping $2.7 billion in fraudulent claims but paying out $1.6 billion before halting the scammers.
- The scam involved at least 56,000 participants, some of whom used stolen identities, and was linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs.
- The ATO claims to have contained the fraud, but reports suggest it may still persist on a smaller scale.
- The scam exposed a vulnerability in Australia's tax system, highlighting the slowness of government response compared to the swiftness of modern social media.
“The Day Before” Video Game Scam (00:18:23)
- "The Day Before" was announced as an open-world MMO zombie shooter with impressive visuals, but it turned out to be a scam.
- Despite promising a groundbreaking game, the developer, Fntastic, had only two people on board, Edward and Aen Gutter, with a mixed development history.
- The game's trailers were found to contain stolen content from other games and stock library assets, raising suspicions.
- The release date was pushed back multiple times, and when the game was finally released on Steam Early Access, it was plagued with bugs, crashes, and missing features.
- Players quickly realized they had been misled, leading to a barrage of refund requests and negative reviews.
- Fntastic faced allegations of asset dumping, trailer and gameplay plagiarism, manipulation of Steam wish list numbers, and reliance on unpaid volunteers.
- The studio closed down just four days after the game's launch, deleting all their online presence and making the game unavailable for purchase.
- Fntastic was based in Russia but incorporated in Singapore, using a fake address to evade authorities.
- Estimates suggest that the brothers may have pocketed around $3 million from pre-orders.
The Billion Fraud Miles Guo and William Je (00:22:13)
- Miles Guo, a former Chinese property tycoon who fled to the US in 2014, claimed to be a dissident and media mogul.
- Guo started a media platform called GTV, claiming to expose the truth about the Chinese Communist Party and recruiting thousands of people to join his cause.
- He raised $1 billion from investors through an online membership club and a cryptocurrency platform, promising large returns.
- The money was used to fund a lavish lifestyle for Guo and his right-hand man, William Je, including expensive properties, luxury cars, yachts, and extravagant items.
- US authorities exposed the scam, seizing over $632 million from their bank accounts and charging them with multiple counts of fraud and money laundering.
- Guo's apartment caught fire shortly after his arrest, raising suspicions of an attempt to hide evidence.
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