American rapper Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., better known by his stage name “T.I.,” is the latest celebrity to face charges of fraud on account of a cryptocurrency investment scheme gone wrong. Affected investors are suing the rapper as well as Ryan Felton, an Atlanta-based businessman, for running a fraudulent investment involving virtual currencies.
T.I. Implicated in Pump and Dump ICO Fraud
According to TMZ, T.I. and Felton publicized the creation of FLiK Token in August 2017. The duo allegedly claimed that investors would receive up to 25,000 percent returns on their investments.
It was the height of “crypto mania,” and as such, people were taken in by such grandiose promises. At the time, each FLiK was reportedly valued at $0.06 with Felton declaring that it would surge to $15 in a little over a year. The investors allegedly put up more than $1.3 million in the scheme.
The aggrieved investors, numbering 25, say both men orchestrated an elaborate pump and dump scheme, artificially inflating the value of the tokens to $0.21 using investor funds. However, upon this price rally, both men allegedly dumped the tokens, causing the price to crash and leading to massive losses for investors.
As part of the ruse, the investors say the duo created the impression that FLiK was a viable investment with a slew of celebrity endorsements, including American actor and comedian Kevin Hart. Felton even falsely identified billionaire Mark Cuban as an investor in the scheme.
A year later, FLiK tokens exchanged for less than a penny. According to the investors, Felton blamed T.I. for the price crash, saying:
T.I gave FLiK tokens to members of his family and friends who sold massive amounts on coinexchange.com causing rapid devaluation.
The group of investors is suing T.I. and Felton for securities fraud and are claiming damages of up to $5 million.
Celebrities in Hot Water for Endorsing Failed Cryptocurrency Schemes
Recently, Live Bitcoin News reported on the news that affected Centra Tech investors were suing Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled. Both men actively promoted the failed Centra Tech cryptocurrency project that was shut down by the U.S. SEC earlier in the year.
Also, in June, reports emerged that another American rapper, ‘The Game,” was in hot water for promoting ParagoinCoins. Affected investors launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the rapper.
Do you think that T.I is complicit in the FLiK token scam? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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