Centra Tech co-founder Sohrab “Sam” Sharma jailed after Bitconned

The world of cryptocurrency is so new and ever-changing that it's not quite surprising when scammers take advantage of this, like in Netflix's Bitconned. The new documentary, released on January 1, follows the meteoric rise and fall of Centra Tech, a company that claimed to facilitate cryptocurrency spending easily through debit cards.

As Bitconned demonstrates, Centra Tech does not have the credentials, partnerships, or technology to back up this claim, and according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), these misrepresentations constitute fraud.

Centra Tech's three co-founders were all charged with fraud in 2018. But at sentencing, the company's president, Sohrab "Sam" Sharma, received the longest time in prison.

Here's a look back at Sharma's role at Centra Tech and his thoughts on the new documentary.

President of Central Technology

You won't hear Sharma's voice directly in Bitconned , but he can be seen in several Centra Tech videos throughout the documentary, including an online livestream where he says: "We are 100% not a scam."

In fact, Centra Tech turned out to be a scam that took in more than $32 million from investors in 2017, according to SEC data. Sharma was one of the first co-founders to be arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.


Sharma is still serving his sentence

As Bitconned points out, Sharma remains in jail. In 2021, he was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $36 million.

The sentencing statement read: “Sohrab Sharma led a scheme to deceive investors by falsely claiming that a startup he co-founded had developed full-featured, cutting-edge cryptocurrency-related financial products. "In fact, Sharma's most notable inventions were the fake executives, fake business partnerships and fake licenses that he and his co-conspirators touted to trick victims into handing over tens of millions of dollars."

He wants to share the "real story"

Although his co-founder gave an interview to Bitconned , Sharma doesn't necessarily agree with their version of the story. In a statement provided by his attorney at the end of Bitconned , Sharma said he "denies various claims made by several people in this documentary."

Sharma's statement added, "In the near future, [he] looks forward to telling the true story of Centra Tech and its background." So this may not be the last you hear about the Bitconned scandal.