YouTuber rugpulls fans for $500K in crypto, token pumps 300% anyway
Social media influencer Ice Poseidon says he’s looking out for himself and won’t hand back $500,000 worth of crypto he scammed from fans in an audacious rugpull scheme.
Poseidon — real name Paul Denino — leveraged YouTube, Telegram, and Discord accounts to convince a portion of his 740,000 followers to sink money into a crypto token he created called CxCoin, launched last July.
“Cxcoin is a community-based and community-driven token, guaranteeing complete transparency through every milestone of the project,” reads the project’s website.
It marketed itself with crypto buzzwords, describing CxCoin as a “deflationary” and “buyback orientated DeFi token.” The project pledged to use fees generated to buy the token on exchange, thereby propping up its price.
“Our responsibility is to create a fast, secure and easy way for streamers to receive crypto donations from their viewers. Whether you want to donate CxCoin, BNB or any other cryptocurrency, we are here to help you.”
- Ice Poseidon runs a gaming-focused YouTube channel with over 740,000 subscribers.
- The popularity of his YouTube and Twitch channels peaked in 2017 when he mostly engaged in what he called “lifestreaming.”
- According to Rolling Stone, Ice Poseidon expected to earn annual income “in the low six figures” from ads, viewer donations, and sponsorships from gaming orgs like Team NRG.
But despite assuring investors the token was a “long-term project” and that funds were “locked up” and protected from rug pulls, he actually has extracted more than half a million dollars from the supply, according to YouTube investigator Coffeezilla.
Denino took the funds from pre-sale and marketing wallets, as well as the token’s liquidity pool (the address containing the bulk of the supply intended support its development).
The influencer initially said he’d return a small fraction of the money, but when YouTube investigator Coffeezilla publicly confronted Denino about the bulk last week, he said he would “look out for himself and not do that.”
Denino curiously bought a Tesla not long after launching CxCoin. More than $800,000 worth of the token was traded on its first day.
When formally informed that Coffeezilla would publish a video detailing his scam, he backed down and said he’d return $155,000. But as of recently he’d only returned $40,000 worth of tokens to the liquidity pool.
Ice Poseidon scrubs online footprint after crypto rugpull
According to Coffeezilla, Poseidon/Denino siphoned $200,000 worth of CxCoin from one of the token’s pre-sale wallets.
He later took $250,000 from the marketing wallet and admitted taking another $290,000 from his community’s liquidity pool when he abandoned the project.
In total, he worked on CxCoin for two weeks with constant promises about its “long-term” viability, then conveniently claimed that the project had suddenly died of its own accord.
Attempts to view Ice Poseidon’s official website now return a 404 error, classic crypto rugpull behavior. He’s also been deleting many posts about CxCoin from his social media channels.
Read more: [‘A slow rug pull’: Traders reject play-to-earn crypto shilled by Ice Cube]
Coffeezilla recommended that victims of the CxCoin scam file a report with the FBI’s Federal Crime Complaint Center. Complaints should include the suspect’s real name.
Victims can also file a whistleblower report with the SEC and a fraud complaint with the FTC.
If victims file enough complaints, regulators might find the case easy to prosecute. After all, Ice Poseidon has more-or-less admitted to stealing money from his fans, no doubt making the case straight-forward.
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