Did Aurélien Michel want to cheat those who would have bought him NFTs, some kind of digital artwork? This is the opinion of the American authorities, who on Wednesday arrested this young Breton, the son of soccer player Coco Michel, who is himself a soccer player, reports Le Télégramme on Saturday, largely repeating the press release published by the US attorney’s office.
This Frenchman now living in the United Arab Emirates is accused of defrauding NFT buyers Mutant Ape Planet » up to $2.9 million. Aurélien Michel is therefore accused of having “promised many rewards and benefits aimed at increasing the demand and value” of NFTs, but of abandoning the project by taking all the money from investors.
“NFT Buyers Planet of the Mutant Apes thought they were investing in a trendy new collectible, but were duped and received none of the promised benefits,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York. “When the NFTs are exhausted, (Aurelian) Michel would have stopped the communication and withdrawn the funds from the buyers”, for its part, in this same press release, supports the service in charge of the investigations since the filing of a complaint, also published online, at the beginning of the year 2022.
Blame it on an “overly toxic” society
According to the US Attorney, Aurélien Michel admitted the scheme during the investigations but denied any responsibility. The Frenchman thus blamed the community of NFT buyers, arguing that it had “become too toxic”. He was arrested on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as he intended to fly to the United Arab Emirates.
Aurélien Michel is not unknown in France. He is the son of Coco Michel, legendary player from En avant Guingamp (EAG), where he is now part of the coaching staff. Aurélien Michel, 24, had tried to follow in his father’s footsteps: educated at EAG, he was a player at Lannion and Ploumagoar.