- Michael Alan Stollery raised millions during the ICO craze of 2017-2018.
- He lied to investors about the Titanium blockchain and even said he had a business relationship with the U.S. Federal Reserve.
- Stollery also used some of the investors’ money to fund his expensive habits.
The cryptocurrency industry has gone through multiple frenzied moments in its history. One of them was the initial coin offering (ICO) craze of the 2017-2018 crypto bull market when thousands of now-worthless projects raised significant amounts of money.
However, as it becomes increasingly clear, many ICOs that seemed legit and worthy of investment were scams. One of them is Titanium, whose CEO just got sentenced to jail.
Titanium Blockchain CEO Sentenced to Jail
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Michael Alan Stollery, the CEO of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc. (TBIS), has been sentenced for defrauding investors through an elaborate ICO fraud.
According to the DOJ, Stollery raised around $21 million from late 2017 to early 2018 by luring investors to buy BAR, the cryptocurrency behind the TBIS investment platform that turned out to be a sham. The DOJ explained that Stollery did that without first registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Stollery then commingled the ICO investors’ funds with his own and used some of the money to fund credit card payments and cover bills for his Hawaii condominium.
Stollery used a variety of techniques to lure investors. For example, he falsified TBIS’s whitepapers and planted fake client testimonials on TBIS’s website. He also falsely claimed that TBIS had business relationships with the U.S. Federal Reserve and other prominent companies and institutions.
In July 2022, Stollery pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud and admitted to falsifying TBIS’s whitepapers, commingling investors’ funds, and faking testimonials and business relationships.
While Stollery faced up to 20 years for the committed crimes, he has been sentenced to four years and three months in prison.
On the Flipside
- It has taken the U.S. regulators five years to find someone guilty of committing a crime. Industry observers think the regulators should move faster.
Why You Should Care
Crypto investors should always do their due diligence before deciding where to invest their money, especially during a period like the ICO craze.
Read more about the SEC’s lawsuit against Justin Sun:
SEC Sues Tron Founder Justin Sun Over Fraud, TRX Wash Trading Scheme