US Law Enforcement Arrests Mastermind of $1.2 Million MEV Rug Pull Scam

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 1 min read
MEV Rug Pull Scam
Source: Midjourney

A notorious MEV-bot engineer linked to a $1.2 million rug pull scam, Robert Robb (known online as “pokerbrat”), was arrested by U.S. law enforcement on March 20.

Robb’s arrest came to light on March 21 after cryptocurrency sleuth ZachXBT revealed a possible connection to the alleged scam.

$1.2 Million MEV Rug Pull Scam and Previous Criminal History


The case was first brought to the limelight when the blockchain security expert unveiled Robb’s illicit crypto activities in December 2023.

Robb was reportedly able to pull the funds from investors based on his promise to build automated trading bots. ZachXBT alleged that Robb was an MEV bot fraudster who disappeared with investor funds without delivering on his promise.

MEV refers to the profit miners can make by reordering, front-running, or including transactions in a block to benefit them financially. This can occur due to the nature of how transactions are processed and included in a blockchain, particularly in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.  MEV bots are automated tools designed to exploit this potential profit by quickly identifying and executing trades based on the order of block transactions.

Zach’s allegation further revealed various excuses presented by Robb after incessant delay of the project up until investors became frustrated.

After about 60 days of waiting for the project updates, Robb came up with excuses ranging from COVID setbacks, exchange issues, extortion, family problems, and health issues.

Also, the MEV engineer was allegedly removing people asking about the reasons behind the delay from the project’s chatroom.

The severity of these allegations was highlighted when Zach made a thread revealing Robb’s previous criminal history, involving frauds and thefts as far back as 20 years.

According to the allegations, Robb pleaded guilty to scamming investors of over $4 million in 2002. Robb was also sentenced to three years in prison in 2007 for defrauding over ten victims in Colorado.

Crypto Fraud Persists Amid Regulatory Gaps


While the crypto community awaits full details of Robb’s arrest from Henderson Police, ZachXBT’s allegations suggest Robb was arrested in correlation to the alleged $1.2 million rug pull scam.

This whole case shows how fraudsters are hiding behind the screen ready to exploit regulatory gaps in the crypto ecosystem.

According to a Chainalysis report, the crypto industry has lost over $87 billion to scams and fraudulent activities between 2021 and now.