Amidst the boom of Bitcoin in 2017, there was no better place for scammers and when Ray Trapani's friend suggested the idea of creating a debit card for crypto, he jumped at the chance.
Bitconned is a new documentary on Netflix, exploring Trapani's ups and downs on his dramatic journey.
Featuring interviews from Trapani himself, his family, former friends and the journalist who exposed Centra Tech as the first high-profile fraud case of the crypto era, it makes you wonder what Ray Trapani is up to now.
Read on for everything we know about Ray Trapani, including the rise and fall of Centra Tech and where he is now.
What happened to Ray Trapani?
As he says himself in the new Netflix documentary, Ray Trapani had "always wanted to be a criminal", even as a young boy, and as an adult he found himself at the centre of a cryptocurrency scam.
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When one of Trapani's friends suggested the idea of creating a debit card for cryptocurrency, it was almost a no brainer to try and do it, despite having no idea how to.
Trapani says in the trailer: "We didn't know anything about this business, but it didn't matter at all. It was too easy."
Together with Sam Sharma and Robert Farkas, he founded Centra Tech, Inc., but in 2018 the SEC charged the trio, accusing them of a fraudulent scheme related to Centra Tech's 2017 initial coin offering, in which the company issued digital tokens to investors.
"We allege that the Centra Tech co-founders went to great lengths to create the false impression that they had developed a viable, cutting-edge technology," said Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Cyber Unit.
The complaint alleged that Trapani, Sharma and Farkas were the "masterminds behind the Centra Tech fraud", in which Centra Tech marketed using claims about nonexistent business relationships with major credit card companies.
Trapani, along with Sharma and Farkas, pleaded guilty. In 2022, Trapani got time served and a supervised release of three years.
What is Centra Tech?
At the heart of Centra Tech's aims was the Centra Card, which would allow users to make purchases using cryptocurrency from any vendor who accepts Visa or Mastercard payments.
Between July and October 2017, Trapani and two others were accused of soliciting investors to purchase unregistered stocks in the form of digital tokens.
Through fake LinkedIn profiles, celebrity endorsements and licences to operate in 28 states, Centra Tech made funds of around $25 million, as noted by Boccadutri international law firm.
Where is Ray Trapani now?
As of 2023, it seems Ray Trapani is ready to share his story on Netflix.
Looking at his Instagram, he has a post from 2021 with what appear to be his friends. In more recent days, he has reposted the trailer of Bitconned, which he features in.