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Crypto is a scam from top to bottom


It’s pretty striking how “somebody” decided a few weeks ago that the Madison Cawthorn Experiment wasn’t going to release a second album after all:

Outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) revealed Friday he sold upward of $250,000 of the Let’s Go Brandon meme cryptocurrency on Dec. 31, 2021, the day it saw its market value peak. Less than a month later, the meme coin had lost 100% of its value.

Multiple watchdogs told the Washington Examiner that the filing bolsters their suspicions that Cawthorn engaged in an insider trading scheme with the meme coin, whose leaders face a class-action lawsuit for allegedly scamming retail traders by orchestrating a “pump and dump” scheme with the coin.

“It’s very damning,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist with Public Citizen. “The timing is spot on for what suggests to be insider trading. He buys the stock, it increases dramatically in value, and he sells it at the peak moment. That’s what appeared to be what was going on in the first place, and this really confirms it.”

The Washington Examiner reported Cawthorn may have implicated himself in an insider trading scheme when he posed with LGB coin ringleader James Koutoulas at a party on Dec. 29. Cawthorn posted on Instagram that evening in response to the photo: “LGB legends. … Tomorrow we go to the moon!”

The next day, LGB did exactly as Cawthorn predicted.

NASCAR driver Brandon Brown announced on Dec. 30 that the meme coin would be the primary sponsor of his 2022 season, causing LGB’s value to spike by 75%. Koutoulas was directly involved in negotiating the deal between LGB and Brown, according to Brown’s statement.

Cawthorn disclosed in his periodic transaction report filed Friday that he purchased between $100,001 to $250,000 worth of LGB on Dec. 21. Cawthorn was pictured holding an LGB coin button and posing with Koutoulas weeks earlier on Dec. 5.

Cawthorn also disclosed in the filing that he sold a portion of his LGB holdings on Dec. 31 for between $100,001 and $250,000.

Cawthorn saw his investment in the coin increase by upward of a staggering 97% during the 10-day period he held the coin, according to LGB’s market data.

“This looks like a pretty classic ‘pump and dump’ scheme,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

“Did he have inside information? It sure appears that way,” Libowitz told the Washington Examiner. “He’s hanging out with the guy, announced it was going to spike the next day. The next day it spiked, and then he sells a portion of it. We don’t know exactly how much he sold since he said it’s partial, but he sells it the next day.”

LGB’s market value suffered a precipitous decline beginning just one day after Cawthorn offloaded upward of $250,000 of the coin onto the market. The coin’s troubles compounded on Jan. 4 after NASCAR rejected the coin’s sponsorship deal with Brown. By the end of January, the market cap of the meme coin dropped all the way to $0.

Koutoulas blamed the coin’s implosion in part on unidentified insiders who dumped their outsize holdings of the coin all at once, he said in a Feb. 20 livestream.

The swift rise and fall of the meme coin led one jilted investor to file a class-action lawsuit in April accusing Koutoulas and other LGB insiders of using the digital currency to orchestrate a “pump and dump” scheme.

Cawthorn isn’t named as a defendant in the class-action lawsuit, but he is identified as one of the coin’s celebrity endorsers that helped Koutoulas inflate the coin’s market value before the rug was pulled on retail traders.

LGB relaunched in February, but it is trading 99% below its peak price set the day Cawthorn sold his holdings in the meme coin.

After LGB’s crash, Cawthorn appeared at multiple events with Koutoulas and repeatedly urged his followers to buy the coin.

“I got Let’s Go Brandon coin,” Cawthorn said at the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to a video Koutoulas posted to his Instagram page in late February. “It’s working out well, very well.”

Don’t cry no tears around him of course, but the instant destruction of Cawthorn immediately after he started blabbing about coke-fueled GOP congressional orgies (yeech) was impressive.

The more interesting point here I think is how this little denouement illustrates how cryptocurrencies are just a complete scam from top to bottom. This realization can be put off for awhile by using the world “blockchain” a lot, but eventually it sinks in that we’re talking about a totally useless product, which only exists to enable a combination of pump and dump rackets and traditional Ponzi schemes, along with the massively negative sum broker rake offs that characterize the “respectable” cryptos advertised by Hollywood stars, sports gods, etc.

This tweet will remain the classic of the genre for as long as this particular grift keeps on rolling:

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