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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Crypto Startup Promoted by Mahomes, Brees Faces Fraud Claims

  • The South African company claimed it would generate $97 billion in revenue in its first three years.
  • FTX collapsed last year after being promoted by Tom Brady, Steph Curry, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Pat Mahomes
Arizona Republic

Crypto collectibles startup VirtualStax claimed to be worth $15 billion and once garnered endorsements from the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees.

Now, a recent report found the company’s TurnCoin tokens have never been listed on any major crypto exchange, and founder Rudolf Markgraaff faces fraud accusations.

The South African company claimed it would generate $97 billion in revenue in its first three years in a pitch to potential investors in 2019, per documents viewed by Forbes, and has listed the two NFL stars as ambassadors, among others. 

Since then, the company hasn’t launched any digital trading cards from Mahomes or other athletes, nor has it publicly disclosed any notable institutional investors. 

VirtualStax’s NFT marketplace app TheXchange, which sold its digital trading cards, is being accused of fraud by two people who claim the company owes them $12 million in unpaid royalties. 

Potential VirtualStax investors were also shown a video implying LeBron James was involved with the project — but a spokesperson for James denied any such relationship, per Forbes.

Crypto Crash

It’s been a rough stretch for crypto companies. 

FTX collapsed last year after being promoted by Tom Brady, Steph Curry, and Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq was finally served legal papers related to the fallout on Sunday after lawyers accused him of “running from us for months.” 

Meanwhile, the stablecoin Terra is still being promoted at MLB’s Washington Nationals’ ballpark despite folding last year, while Voyager, which sponsored the NWSL and Dallas Mavericks, saw its assets acquired by FTX for $1.4 billion. 

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