12 months ago
Stephen Findeisen, also known as Coffeezilla, is a YouTuber whose channel focuses on exposing scammers, fraudsters, fake gurus, and their deceptive financial schemes. www.youtube.com/@Coffeezilla
What has been the reaction, what has been the most visceral or violent reaction to what you've done and exposed? I think the biggest story we probably ever broken was either the FTX stuff, but that was already kind of going on, it was probably the Logan Paul story, the Crypto Zoo saga. That was a case where it's just the classic influencer greed story where this guy launches an NFT project, does millions upon millions of dollars in sales and delivers nothing. He promises the world a fun blockchain game that earns you money and he did nothing and the project was left abandoned and people were miserable, complaining, complaining, no one says it, but they don't have a voice. I'm kind of aware that you covered it, but I don't know the story. Let me back up then. Logan Paul is a popular influencer, you know who he is. He along with a lot of influencers got really interested in the crypto space and he had done a coin before that called Dink Doink, which was abandoned shortly after he promoted it, people got invested, goes to zero. He says, well, that's not my project, that was my buddy's project. Then a month later, he's like, I actually do have a project, excited to announce it. It's called Crypto Zoo. They called it a fun game that earns you money. Basically the idea is they're going to sell you these two things, eggs, NFT, and then there's a coin aspect to it called zoo tokens. You can buy these zoo tokens to buy the eggs and the idea is the eggs will then hatch into animals that will earn passive zoo tokens. You can buy eggs with zoo tokens and then the eggs will passively earn you zoo tokens. Does that make sense? No. Well, don't worry, you're kind of actually caught up. These zoo tokens were basically this passive income. You basically invest upfront and then you're sort of getting the tokens back out, which you can then sell, I guess. That was the idea of pitch to people and people immediately buy in. They had $3 million in NFT sales, tens of millions of dollars in the tokens itself, the zoo tokens. People are so excited about it because it's Logan Paul and he says this is his project. He's putting his name behind it, his backing behind it and he's a great marketer. You got to give the guy credit where credit is due. He's a tremendous marketer. People get all excited. All of a sudden the hatch day comes when you're supposed to hatch these eggs and half the hatching doesn't work. How does the hatching work? Is it on a computer model? It was on the blockchain. Your NFTs would turn into different NFTs. They would transform into the animals. They go from an egg to an animal. How? It's just blockchain coding. I mean, it's just- But how do they ... Is it predetermined? Yeah. How does your egg become an ostrich? It's supposed to be randomly generated animals. So you might get a rhino, you might get a chicken. Exactly. You could crossbreed your rhino with a chicken and get a ricken or something and get even more tokens. Is this it? Yeah, there it is. You get like- Bear shark. Bear shark. So people start to like- Is this still around? So they say they're going to go back and fix it now. So Logan, after being not involved for a year, as soon as my video comes out, he goes, Damn, what a coincidence. I've been working on it. I was going to launch it. In reality, he hadn't touched it for a very long period of time. So sorry to back up. Half the eggs don't work and they're not actually earning anything. The whole time they said they're going to earn you these tokens, right? They're not earning anything. So the promises haven't been fulfilled. There's just sort of all this stuff going on and behind the scenes, Logan's quiet. Come to find out, he had hired basically criminals who were selling on the back end, like some of the tokens. He was sort of like, I don't know what his thing was. I think he realized like, Oh, it's not going to be that successful. Let me move on. I think his mentality was let me just move on. The problem though is you have millions of dollars of investment in a thing that you promoted. You told everyone it was going to make them money and then you never delivered anything. So my story was basically showing that, showing the victims of the scheme. And then in response, he's like, well, I'm going to sue you for that. He said he's going to sue you. Yeah. He said, I'll see you in court. And then the backlash against him was so severe that he releases a video saying, thank you Coffeezilla for showing the world what happened. And I appreciate it. I responded out of anger, but I'm going to make things right. I'm going to fix the game to what it was supposed to be. And I'm going to pay back $1.7 million. I'm committing $1.7 million to anyone who bought an NFT can get a refund. Now there's a bit of an issue with that. So that's nice. I actually think it's great that that happened, but there's two issues with it. Number one, which is that the NFTs were only half a small part of the sale. They actually weren't even half. Because people bought these tokens. So the people who bought tokens get nothing. He's offering this refund on the NFTs. The other problem is he hasn't refunded the NFTs. I've actually reached out to him twice. It's been over a month since he's done this. So he said he's going to do it. And then the Discord, he's posting in this little chat room with the investors. After he said he was going to do it, he's posted nothing. There's no way to get a refund right now. So I keep asking him, hey, you promised $1.7 million to these investors. They're all waiting. It's been over, I think it's almost been two months now, and there's nothing. So it's like he says that he's refunding people, which sounds great for PR. And then it's just like radio silence. So what I'm ultimately looking for is some accountability from these guys. They're happy to make money from the endeavors. They're happy to potentially make millions of dollars from these different projects they're spinning up. But the second accountability is asked for, you can't reach them. Well, I would assume Logan's a very busy guy. Sure. I would assume that he probably didn't come up with this on his own. I would assume that someone probably came to him with this project. This is just total assumption. Guesswork. Guessing on my part. So we have text messages from behind the scenes. The people who were responsible for it say Logan kind of spearheaded the idea. And he says he spearheaded the idea. So it was his idea? Yeah. And so he's working with someone, right, that probably assured him that this would work? Yeah. I mean, he had this team of a few guys who they didn't do much vetting into, and some of them turned out to be criminals. But my feeling is ultimately, no matter what happens, when you take people's money, that's what I'm trying to like, on my show, I'm trying to tell these influencers. When you take people's money, it's different. When you tell them you're going to make them money and you get into the financial investment game, your responsibility is different. You can't just always pass the buck to like, oh, it was like a guy that's not that trustworthy. It's like, all right, that might be true. Then go fix it. Go hire some more guys that are trustworthy and fix the thing. And I think my experience, because I've talked to Logan, and that's why I know he didn't respond to me because I texted him. I said, hey, where's this money? He left me on red. But I've talked to him, and when I talk to him, there's just sort of this feeling of, he's like, I just don't want to think about this. I don't want to be ... He wants to focus on prime, which is successful. He doesn't want to be bothered with the victims of the scheme that he ultimately thought of in the first place. Is it possible that he's just gathering the money or working out a way to do it legally where it makes sense? It's very frustrating because at every turn, it's just sort of like ... I want to say it's possible. We just don't know. And it's just sort of like, when you promise people refunds, the longer you wait, you know the less people are actually going to take that refund. If Walmart says, hey, bring in this skull, I'll give you a refund. And you're like, all right, when can I bring it in? And they don't respond to you for two months. They know that you're less likely to actually take the refund. So I don't know if he's doing it because he wants less people to get the refund. He probably is busy, but my thought is a transgression of this magnitude where you're playing with people's money and livelihoods, you cannot take it lightly. And that's one of the things is these influencers got into this crypto space. I don't think they fully appreciated they're now dealing with financial investments. And it's not a joke. It's not like a brand deal where if NordVPN isn't as great as they said it was, it's all cool. Right. It's now, it's your company and you promise people you're going to make the money. And now you haven't said anything for over a year, then you say you're going to refund them and you don't say anything for two months. That's an issue.