The founder of cryptocurrency protocol project, Oyster Pearl, is being charged by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax evasion. Amir Bruno Elmaani, who raised millions in token sales, has been accused of personally pocketing millions of dollars of the tokens raised in an ICO for Oyster Pearl, without reporting the gains made to the IRS.
The cryptocurrency entrepreneur is said that have been operating different businesses, funded by the money which he allegedly misappropriated from the ICO token sale of Pearl (PRL) tokens, a medium of exchange on what was meant to be a protocol that allows for the purchase of online data storage.
Elmaani is alleged to have also used part of $10 million in proceeds to purchase multiple yachts, real estate, and a home renovations.
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. says:
“Taking advantage of the ever-so-popular cryptocurrency market, Elmaani allegedly capitalized on the investments of those who purchased virtual currency through Oyster Pearl, which he founded.”
The SEC states that Elmaani made an estimated $570,000 in illicit gains through the minting and sale of Pearl tokens. It suggests that the price of Pearl tokens fell by almost 65% as a result of his sales.
A coin mixer was used to hide details of where the cryptocurrencies were being sent to and from. The tokens were eventually transferred to his own accounts, according to the Department of Justice. A statement by the Department of Justice asserts that Elmaani filed a false 2017 tax return stating that he only had approximately $15,000 of income from a patent design business. No evidence has been found of a return filing or income report to the IRS by Elmaani in 2018.
Tax evasion is a serious crime in the United States of America where even popular names such as movie star, Wesley Snipes have been put behind bars for failing to give uncle Sam what he wants.