The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, in collaboration with the FBI, has unveiled charges against Mohamed-Amin Atcha, Mohamed Rilazh Waleedh, and Daood Hassan, all UK nationals, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

The indictment accuses them of deceiving investors through a fraudulent scheme related to the "Evolved Apes" NFT collection, promising the development of a video game to inflate digital artwork prices.

FBI Assistant Director James Smith highlighted the alleged scheme's aim to boost NFT prices through false promises and illicit fund transfers.

The defendants are charged with executing a 'rug pull' scam, abandoning the project after collecting funds, and face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count if convicted.