Review: How Ray Trapani Scammed the Crypto World and Got Away With it

March 22, 2024   |   Tags:
minisbitcoinned | <em>Bitconned</em>/Netflix

Bitconned is a tale about scams, backstabbings, and a failed justice system set in the world of cryptocurrency. At the heart of the Netflix documentary is Ray Trapani, a charismatic con artist living a high-rolling lifestyle of gambling, luxury suits, and flashy cars. "Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a criminal," he says, setting the tone for the film and his successful evasion of justice.

In 2017, Trapani and his partner—Sohrab "Sam" Sharma—launched Centra Tech, a company promising a revolution with an innovative debit card that facilitated crypto spending. Centra Tech quickly became a moneymaking machine. But the façade of innovation eventually crumbled, exposing the company as an elaborate scam. Trapani and his partner had fabricated résumés, business partnerships, and licenses, lied about their tech's capacity, and even hired an imaginary CEO.

The con is disheartening—trusting investors lost over $25 million. How the justice system dealt with Trapani just piled insult on injury. While Sharma is serving an eight-year sentence and Centra Tech's chief financial officer served one year, Trapani evaded prison time after what the judge referred to as "extraordinary" cooperation with the prosecution.

The legal system's leniency toward Trapani becomes even more exasperating as he proudly confesses to his crimes and showcases the loopholes that allowed him to evade accountability. "It was just too easy to do," he boasts.

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