A United States Air Force cyber analyst has been arrested in a landmark criminal case for the NFT world, new court documents filed earlier this month reveal.
Devin Alan Rhoden has been accused of being involved in a “rug pull” scheme, in which investors are lured in with the promise of digital assets, only for the project to be pulled and the duper to abscond with the project funds. In the criminal complaint, Rhoden is accused of promoting UndeadApes NFTs (from the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT suite) using the username Deviinz to an Air Force veteran on the gaming platform Discord, falsely inflating the value of the NFTs, which led interested parties to believe the project was a collaboration with a sought-after NFT collective known as Stoned Ape Crew.
Stoned Ape Crew, however, denied any such collaboration, causing the purported value of UndeadApes NFTs to nosedive. The victim, whose identity was not disclosed, said his digital assets were consequently made “worthless”.
The filing alleges that Rhoden withdrew $80,000 from his Coinbase account in April 2022, a majority of which was allegedly amassed from criminal activity. Shortly after, Rhoden and his wife purchased a $300,000 residence in Florida; the bank statements from the purchase were submitted as evidence of fraud. As Rhoden’s Coinbase account was connected to his driver’s license, investigators had authority to search his Google profile, which recorded several damning searches, including “does logs show on discord if they delete their account,” “what happens if a utility nfts rugs” and “wire fraud court martial”. Discord logs also allegedly show Rhoden bragging about the funds received from the victims.
In an interview between Rhoden and two members of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Rhoden admitted to “marketing his services to NFT developers” via Discord but denied any knowledge of fraud. He is currently out on a $20,000 bond and awaiting a court date.