Amir ELMAANI, the 31-year-old founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency scheme Oyster Protocol, was sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said on October 31 that Elmaani, also known as “Bruno Block,” was sentenced to prison following an April 6 guilty plea in which he admitted to secretly minting and selling Pearl tokens without paying taxes.
Between September and October 2017, Elmaani promoted a cryptocurrency called Pearl (PRL), which was marketed to investors as a way to purchase data on a blockchain-based data storage platform called the Oyster Protocol. However, under the noses of the Oyster Protocol team and investors, Elmaani secretly minted a ton of new PRL tokens and put them on the market for his own personal gain in October 2018.
Even though Elmaani made millions of dollars, he filed a tax return in 2017 saying he earned just $15,000 from his patent development business and reported zero income to tax authorities in 2018. The court found that in 2018, Elmaani spent more than $10 million on several yachts, $1.6 million on a carbon fiber composites company, hundreds of thousands of dollars on home improvement stores and more than $700,000 on two homes.
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