Victims of defunct crypto investment scam Centra Tech have appeared in court this week, beginning the fight back against the company which is alleged to have defrauded investors out of as much as $32 million, Law360 reported.
The crypto scheme, which was backed by celebrities including Floyd “Money” Mayweather and DJ Khaled, is accused of running an ICO scam with the specific intent of defrauding unsuspecting investors.
The case came to court after a protracted filing period, with previous unsuccessful attempts to bring their case to trial. An initial bid for justice fell short after they failed to secure prior court approval for the action.
A second bid to obtain that approval failed in September, as the victims were unable to adequately explain the delay in bringing proceedings.
At the time, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. said there was no adequate explanation for the late filing, which came 18 months after the first claims arose.
The plaintiffs’ motion offers no excuse or justification for this delay. Moreover, the plaintiffs’ delay appears to be a deliberate decision to file the motion when it would be unopposed by a defaulting defendant.
The most-recent bid began this month, with the plaintiffs arguing they had filed on time and complied with the obligations set out by the court in the run-up to the hearing.
The case revolves around allegations Centra Tech had fraudulently used fake licensing agreements with payment processors like Mastercard and Visa to dupe investors into backing their ICO.
The case is only the latest example of investors bringing fraudulent ICOs to task in court, with a number of high profile scams hitting victims for millions.
While the action has been beset with procedural difficulties, the victims hope their case will now be considered by the courts, with a view to an award of compensation plus damages to those affected.
It remains to be seen whether the action will do anything to deter future fraudsters, with a number of dubious token offerings still doing the rounds.
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