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NFT Artist’s $8.7 Million Earnings Frozen For Alleged Money Laundering

Latvian NFT artist had his $8.7 million earnings frozen by the Latvian government for alleged money laundering. Here’s what you need to know.

Ilya Borisov, better known as Shvembldr, is a generative artist in the NFT space with millions of euros in revenue.” In a blog post on his website called Art Is Crime, Ilya claims that he was “one of the world’s most financially successful NFT artists in 2021.” However, recently he has made the headlines for a different reason. The Latvian government has frozen his $8.7 million in earnings and accused him of money laundering.


In Art Is Crime, Ilya denies any involvement in money laundering. He tells how his “normal life ended, and all hell broke loose.” All of his property was seized by Latvian police without any notice or communication. Authorities also deprived him of his right as a Latvian citizen. “I lost the ability to pay bills, legalize my income, pay taxes, and make purchases, and no one explained why,” he stated. Only three months later, he discovered that he had become the subject of criminal proceedings for alleged money laundering through an elaborate “illegal scheme.”


As a victim of this event, Boris claims, “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 may spend the next twelve years in prison for the alleged money laundering crime if found guilty. It is impossible to know whether he has indeed broken the law or is at the wrath of a huge mistake. The evidence points towards the latter as we can see transparency with figures; however, that is only if he is genuine. What cannot be argued is that his life has taken a massive turn for the worse. I hope in time that justice will be served. 



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