Second Centra Tech Co-founder Pleads Guilty to ICO Scam

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  • Centra Tech co-founder Sohrab Sharma is set to plead guilty to various fraud charges
  • Sharma was indicted along with his two co-founders in April 2018 following Centra’s $32 million ICO
  • Centra Tech was a fraudulent enterprise that used celebrities to endorse it in 2017

A second Centra Tech co-founder is set to plead guilty over the $32 million ICO scam associated with the project. According to Bloomberg, Sohrab Sharma’s lawyers told US District Judge Lorna Schofield in a court filing Monday that Sharma will change his plea, four months ahead of a scheduled November trial. Centra Tech raised $32 million for a fraudulent cryptocurrency project that roped in boxer Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled for promotional purposes in 2017 before being rumbled as a fraud in 2018.

Centra Tech Was a Scam From the Start

Centra Tech advertised itself as a crypto banking solution complete with a CTR coin and a Centra Card, a crypto debit card, and used celebrities to promote the project. The scam was dreamed up by Sharma alongside co-conspirators Raymond Trapani and Robert Farkas, who were working at a luxury car rental service when they cooked it up.

The group clearly had no intention of turning the Centra ICO into a reality, creating a fake Harvard-educated CEO called Michael Edwards to front the company. A New York Times exposé in October 2017 spelled the beginning of the end for Centra Tech, highlighting the lack of business experience of the trio as well as Sharma and Trapani’s grand jury indictments for perjury on a DIU case.

Trapani Standing Alone

Investors filed a complaint over the Centra Tech ICO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December 2017, and Sharma and Farkas were arrested on April 1, 2018. The charges included securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Raymond Trapani was arrested three weeks later and remains the only one of the trio to maintain his innocence, following Farkas pleading guilty last month. Trapani’s trial is also set to go ahead in November.