Stephen Nereoff and Michael Hladie are accused of trying to “shake” the cryptocurrency company for millions of dollars in crypto. The guys tried to double their share of return in the ICO. In the event of non-compliance, they threatened to expose and destroy the startup completely.
The victim company was based in Seattle, Washington. In 2017, the company conducted an ICO, under which Nereoff agreed to receive 22.5% of all borrowed funds, as well as 22.5% of all tokens. Nevertheless, he soon changed his requirements and requested about 30,000 ETH instead of the originally declared 17,000. As a result, the company paid the entire amount to an additional ransomware.
Indeed, this whole situation looks like extortion in the style of the 1950s, only in the world of cryptocurrencies. Hadi told startup management that he was part of the Irish Republican Army, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency and the FBI, and that he had overthrown the head of state. Such an absurd story inspired fear in the minds of a startup company.
Extortion did not end when after fulfilling the initial requirements. Nereoff would also demand an amount of about 10,000 ETH in April 2018. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison.