Entrepreneur Steven Nerayoff, who was involved in the development of Ethereum, CasperLabs, tZero and dozens of other projects, was arrested on charges of extortion.
The U.S. attorney for the Eastern district of new York and the FBI’s new York office
issued a joint statement regarding the arrest. D together with Nerayoff was arrested Michael Hlady on a similar charge.
Two men are accused of threatening to sabotage the ICO of a Seattle startup that issued cryptocurrency tokens as part of a reward program to help customers attract users and sell their products. In November 2017, the company planned an ICO and agreed to enter into an agreement, according to which 22.5% of all funds raised and 22.5% of issued tokens will be transferred to Nerayoff for supporting the ICO.
However, a few days before the ICO Marioff demanded an additional 17 000 ETH in the amount of almost $8.5 million for additional work. This would increase his total compensation to 30,000 ETH. He threatened to disrupt the ICO and destroy the company if his demands were not met. The firm agreed to the new terms.
Later, Marioff presented the company Glade. In March 2018, two men allegedly threatened the firm and demanded a “loan” of 10,000 ETH worth ~ $4.45 million. The money was sent Neiafu and he subsequently did not return. Deputy chief Director of the FBI’s new York office, William F. Sweeney, Jr. Sweeney Jr.) stated:
“When considering this case, it becomes clear that the old scheme of extortion with a modern twist is being implemented. Imposing strict requirements on a company for personal gain is a risky business, regardless of whether we are talking about cryptocurrencies or traditional money.”
Marioff and Gladi first appeared before Federal court this week. They can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
At the beginning of last year, Marioff called
I consider myself the “architect” of Ethereum. At that time, he predicted that the price of ether would triple in a year, which could lead to a global upheaval, after which ether would become the most valuable cryptocurrency.