NFT artist Ilya “Shvembldr” Borisov had his $8.7M earnings frozen by the Latvian government for alleged money laundering. Authorities believe Borisov is involved in an elaborate illegal scheme. In fact, the developer might face a 12-year prison sentence – but is he guilty?


image of Latvian NFT artist Ilya Shvembldr Borisov accused of money laundering
The NFT artist and developer Ilya Borisov might face a 12-year sentence for alleged money laundering. Credit: Art is Crime

Why is the Latvian NFT artist accused of money laundering?

Ilya Borisov, known as Shvembldr, made headlines this week after the Latvian government had frozen his $8.7M earnings. To clarify, state officials accuse the Latvian NFT artist of money laundering.

However, Ilya Borisov disagrees. In fact, we can read his side of the story via Art in Crime – the artist’s website. Borisov recalled his first contact with the Latvian authorities in February 2022. Authorities deprived the artist of his rights as a Latvian citizen since then.

In addition, Borisov says the authorities didn’t notify him of any accusations. Instead, he suddenly had all of his property frozen without notice.

“I have not broken a single law, acting transparently and honestly. I did not hide my income and paid all the necessary taxes. For this, I was treated worse than a criminal and deprived of the opportunity to defend myself,” Borisov claims.


screenshot of a Twitter message from Ilya Shvembldr Borisov via Twitter
The Latvian NFT artist had lost his collaborators and earnings due to the money laundering accusations. Credit: Twitter

Who is Ilya “Shvembldr” Borisov?

Ilya Borisov is a developer and generative NFT artist working under the nickname “Shvembldr”. The content creator is among the most successful NFT creators of 2021. Surprisingly, his 3,557 digital assets brought him a total of $8.7M in earnings.

On February 10th, though, Borisov’s life changed when authorities started freezing his assets. Nevertheless, he claims that he had been paying taxes for his NFT activity throughout 2021.

If found guilty, the Latvian NFT artist might spend the next 12 years in prison for alleged money laundering.

The Baller Apes Club founder Le Anh Traun is in a similar situation. The content creator might face up to 40 years in prison due to alleged crypto scam cases. You can read all about it right here!


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