Aurelien Michel, the French developer behind the imitation Mutant Ape Planet NFT collection, has been arrested in New York and charged with ripping off investors for $2.9 million in a “rug pull scheme.”

Michel is said to have acknowledged to the community through social media posts that he had perpetrated a rug pull, noting “we never intended to rug but the community went way too toxic.”

The collection, which is a copy of the popular Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, has had 567 Ether in sales, but its average price and sales volume have been decreasing since it launched in January 2022.

The project has since been taken over by the community. An analysis from DappRadar reveals that rug pulls, in which creators abruptly abandon or remove liquidity from the platform, were the most frequent type of attack in 2022, with 119 incidents and $200 million in stolen funds.