Wrestler, boxer, and famous YouTuber Logan Paul is all too familiar with controversy.
He’s shown supposed unidentified flying object (UFO) videos and the controversial energy beverage Prime that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is currently urging the FDA to examine. He previously shared footage displaying a deceased body in Japan’s Aokigahara “suicide forest” and incurred the wrath of PETA following videos depicting him electrically stunning two lifeless rodents and executing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a koi fish.
But certain individuals have also labeled the 28-year-old — who possesses 23.6 million YouTube supporters, 25.9 million Instagram followers, and 17.7 million TikTok followers — a cryptocurrency fraudster.
In the autumn of 2021, Paul revealed CryptoZoo, an animated NFT venture influenced by Pokémon and promoted as “a really fun game that makes you money.” For slightly more than $1,100, individuals would possess the capability to “incubate” and “breed, collect and trade exotic animal hybrids on the blockchain,” as indicated by Coinbase. The scarcer the creature, the greater the everyday output of in-game money — zoo tokens — procured.
The opening 10,000 NFTs were swiftly purchased, yet the game never came to fruition. To the present day, no game genuinely exists.
Investors had been, and have still rightfully been, outraged.
During January, Paul – believed to possess a fortune amounting to $245 million – disclosed a recovery strategy valued at $1.5 million to reimburse dissatisfied investors. He expressed his intention “to offer a rewards program for players who are disappointed in the status of the game,” while also pledging to complete the game.
My 3-step plan for CryptoZoo, including a $1.3M rewards program for disappointed players.
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 13, 2023
Thirty days later, several shareholders initiated a collective legal action against both CryptoZoo and Paul, contending that Paul and associates of the CryptoZoo crew illicitly obtained millions of dollars from investors through a “fraudulent venture.”
“Paul and others behind with CryptoZoo made the business decision to forego an expensive and time-consuming process to create a functional CryptoZoo game or support it, and instead deliberately undertook a scheme to defraud Plaintiff and other consumers,” the current lawsuit claimed.
the lawsuit may have never come into existence without the efforts of Stephen “Coffeezilla” Findeisen, an individual who examines internet fraud as a profession.
For more than a year, Findeisen, a self-proclaimed web investigator, has been investigating the CryptoZoo endeavor. In December of 2022, he released a trilogy on YouTube, accusing the numerous ways in which the NFT initiative had disappointed its backers and interviewing numerous people who asserted they had suffered financial losses.
One of the most impacted persons was an Australian, who lost almost $335,000 in U.S. dollars. He requested that his identity not be disclosed due to concern of revenge.
Findeisen’s videos became extremely popular. During March, he made an appearance on the “Joe Rogan Experience,” a huge podcast globally, to converse about his discoveries.
Findeisen mentioned that no single financier has received a refund. (Paul declared in his January video that he had expressed regret to Findeisen, following his accusation towards the investigative journalist of exploiting his name for “views and money” and releasing “a defamatory attack,” as a reply to Findeisen’s YouTube collection. Paul also mentioned that litigating against Findeisen “would not benefit CryptoZoo stakeholders.”)
He approximates that there are “tens of thousands” of fraud victims. In line with Findeisen, who possesses nearly 3 million followers on YouTube, Paul is indebted with over $3.6 million to financiers.
Zach Kelling, meanwhile, who is CryptoZoo’s head engineer, said that Paul is indebted to him “no less than $1 million” for his efforts.
“Logan doxxed me in January in a very public attack video on YouTube, blaming me for his project failing after he refused to pay my team and black-listing all of our tokens,” Kelling stated. “This led to death threats and put my family’s life in jeopardy.”
“Although Paul has since taken down the attack video, my unfortunate relationship to the project as a developer has caused massive issues for me in my life and career,” the Kansas City native, Kelling, added. “I deeply regret ever trying to help him or his team.”
An investor, who goes by the handle “cptdandan,” claims he lost $110,000. A different victim stated “A refund is not enough. But if that’s the most that will happen, then it is at least something. My wish for Logan Paul would be for some jail time but that will never happen.”
He concluded that, at a minimum “some sort of government action is needed.” (Currntly, the government has not alleged Paul of any kind of criminal misconduct related to CryptoZoo.)
A third dissatisfied investor said Paul’s actions are “deplorable,” and added that “the fact he just tries to hide and hope it goes away is the worst. He made a mistake, he needs to own it and do the right thing.”
One other investor, who says he lost $15,000, “would like Paul to take a good hard look at himself, and ask if he truly thinks his family would be proud of a serial scammer who can’t man up enough to do the right thing.”
Findeisen had a message for Paul: “If you make big promises, you have to deliver. Scamming your fans is not acceptable.”
“My personal opinion is that CryptoZoo was a fraud, but I will leave it to law enforcement to decide if there should be further steps taken,” age 37 Coffeezilla noted. “As it is, Logan Paul is being sued by his own former fans, and I think that speaks volumes about the damage he’s done to others and to his own reputation.”
Findeisen made the promise that he “won’t stop trying to help the victims get their money back. Logan Paul promised he’d refund them, it’s time to pay up.”