Blockchain boss convicted of $21m crypto fraud

The CEO of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services (TBIS) has pleaded guilty to defrauding investors during the initial coin offering (ICO) of its digital currency BARs.

Michael Stollery, 54, of Reseda, California, faces up to 20 years in prison for securities fraud after he confessed to misleading the public so they would invest in BARs, falsely claiming links to the Federal Reserve and established companies to boost the appearance of legitimacy.

“Stollery admitted that, to entice investors, he falsified aspects of TBIS’s white papers,” said the US Department of Justice (DoJ). These “purportedly offered investors an explanation of the cryptocurrency investment offering” that suggested it “was different from other cryptocurrency opportunities” and emphasized its supporting technology and ultimately its profitability.

Stollery also wrote up fake testimonials on the TBIS website and said he had relationships with “dozens of prominent companies.” He also confessed to taking investors’ money and dispersing it among his personal funds instead of using it as he had promised them he would do.

This included using the money for unrelated expenses, such as personal credit card payments and paying bills due on Stollery’s condominium in Hawaii.

Stollery is due to be sentenced by a federal district court judge on November 18. He was brought to justice by the DoJ, the Federal Reserve, and the FBI, who investigated the case.

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