HMRC has led an intense investigation into illicit activities done using NFTs. The operation ended with the three people being arrested in a £1.4million VAT fraud case. 

The assets resulted from an ongoing fraud that ties the three suspects into a scheme with more than 250 fake companies. The operation has been going for weeks because the suspects used ‘sophisticated’ methods of hiding their identities behind stolen names, incorrect addresses, and artificially modified voices. 

The deputy director for economic crimes, Nick Sharp, has described the seizure of assets as a ‘warning’ to criminals who wish to trade in crypto only to hide from authorities.

Court rulings are still ongoing, but so far, the tax authorities were permitted to seize more than £5,000 in crypto-assets and some NFTs, the value of which is yet to be determined. 

The crimes related to NFTs don’t just end with cases of fraud. Many people have complained about artificial rises in prices, insider trading, and copyright infringements.

A recent example of copyright comes from John Terry, the Chelsea legend, who had to stop showing the Premier League trophy from his NFTs collection because the player did not have permission to use it. 

The NFTs in question consisted of childish images of apes holding trophies, which represented the achievements of John throughout his career. Unfortunately, the use of the Premier League trophy requires an agreement with the league because it’s protected by trademark.