Two Individuals Charged With Non-Fungible Token “Rug Pull” And Laundering Proceeds Through The Solana And Ethereum Blockchains
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging David Owen (39) and Andrew Corrigan (23), both of New Port Richey, with one count of money laundering conspiracy. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies the defendants that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of at least $547,149, the proceeds of the conspiracy.
According to the indictment, Owen and Corrigan used individuals (straw account owners) to open bank accounts into which their victims deposited money. The money was extorted from victims by impersonators falsely representing that the victims owed federal income tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Canadian tax authorities, or for other financial obligations. The conspirators told victims that if they failed to pay these obligations, they or their family members would face arrest, prosecution, or other legal consequences.
Provided with online access to accounts, the conspirators monitored the victims’ deposits in order to ensure timely withdrawals by the straw account owners. In order to make the withdrawals at the bank, the conspirators provided the straw-account owners with the victims’ names, locations, and amounts of the deposits. The defendants then directed the straw-account owners to withdraw the funds in cash and turn it over to them, often minus a payment to the straw-account owner for opening the account or conducting the transaction.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has violated one or more federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, the Largo Police Department, the Gulfport Police Department, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley Howard-Allen.