Netflix’s ‘Bitconned’, Ray Trapani and the Rise and Fall of Centra Tech

By Louie Fecou
Published: December 12, 2023 (Last updated: January 9, 2024)
Netflix's 'Bitconned', Ray Trapani and the Rise and Fall of Centra Tech
Bitconned | Image via Netflix

Bitconned gives you an insight into the world of cryptocurrency from the perspective of someone who saw the potential for fraud within the landscape. This fascinating and timely Netflix film shows just how open to exploitation the whole crypto boom became, and there is no shortage of scams and rug pulls to back this up. Ray Trapani was always interested in alternative ways to make money, and the legality of any given situation was never a barrier. He speaks candidly about his involvement in this particular caper involving the rise and fall of Centra Tech.

Ray Trapani and Netflix’s Bitconned Explained

The official synopsis from Netflix explains the documentary:

“Ray Trapani had always wanted to be a criminal, even as a young boy. In 2017, amidst the economic frenzy of the Bitcoin boom, there was no better place for scammers than cryptocurrency. So when Ray’s friend approached him with the idea of creating a debit card for crypto, Trapani jumped at the chance. There was only one problem: he had no idea how to do that. But thanks to fake LinkedIn profiles, paid celebrity endorsements, and the online community’s insatiable desire to “get rich quick,” Centra Tech was soon raking in millions of dollars a day. Was it real? No. But did it work? Maybe. In this fast-paced, debaucherous documentary from director Bryan Storkel (Producer of The Legend of Cocaine Island + Director of The Pez Outlaw), Ray himself guides viewers through the ups and downs of his dramatic journey, alongside his family, former friends, and the journalist who exposed Centra Tech as the first high-profile fraud case of the crypto era.”

What did Ray Trapani do with Centra Tech?

Ray and his partners Sohrab Sharma and Robert Farkas were behind Centra Tech, a cryptocurrency firm that among other things offered a debit card. The idea captured the imagination of investors looking for ways to capitalize on the crypto boom, and when the firm offered an initial coin offering, ICO, it would create such a buzz that the company would receive 25 million dollars from interested parties.

It would soon come to light that the ICO was illegal, and the misrepresentation of material, including omissions that encouraged people to invest, would soon lead to charges being brought against Ray and his partners.

What was Ray Trapani charged with?

Sam Sharma, Ray Trapani and Robert Farkas

Left to right: Sam Sharma, Ray Trapani and Robert Farkas | Image via Business Insider

Ray Trapani was charged on ten separate counts: “Conspiracy to commit securities fraud as to Centra Tech”, “Securities fraud as to Centra Tech”, “Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud as to Centra Tech”, “Wire Fraud as to Centra Tech”, “Obstruction of Justice”, “Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud as to Venmo”, “Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud as to Miami Exotics”, “Wire Fraud as to Credit Card and other charges”, “Illegal Firearm Possession”, and “Narcotics Conspiracy”.

Here’s a full court file detailing the charges courtesy of Morrison Cohen LLP.

What happened to Ray after the trial?

Ray pled guilty to the charges in connection with the plan to defraud investors and was forced to disgorge $2,608,869, as well as being sentenced to jail time.

RELATED: Was Michael Edwards the real or fake CEO of Centra Tech?

The other co-founders of Centra Tech, Sohrab “Sam” Sharma and Robert Farkas, also pled guilty and received custodial sentences and hefty financial penalties. Sharma was ordered to disgorge a whopping $37,701,966.

When will Bitconned be released on Netflix?

This will get your New Year underway, as the feature drops on Netflix on January 1st, 2024.

Ray Trapani narrates the documentary and features very heavily in the film, so he was very involved with this production, but as to where he is now, it is hard to say.

Who directed Bitconned on Netflix?

Bitconned was directed by Bryan Storkel, and if that name rings a bell, you are probably remembering it from the excellent documentary The Pez Outlaw on Netflix, as well as producing the feature The Legend of Cocaine Island that is currently rumored to be in the process of being adapted into a movie with Will Ferrell.

RELATED: What is Ray Trapani’s Net Worth?

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