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Published: May 25, 2021

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Joshua Mullins, who almost defrauded esports investors from $42 million, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison
  • Mullins ran a series of unsuccessful esports ventures before moving into more ambitious scams that could have cost esports investors a pretty penny
  • Mullins has been described as a bright man who could have done anything with his life had it not been for his bad decision early in life

Once a teenager trying to scam esports executives out of millions, Joshua Mullins has faced his legal reckoning receiving ten years in prison with a five-year probation period. 

Mullins: From Esports Investor to Fraud Sentenced 

Joshua Mullins, a 21-year-old conman who tried to scam esports executives out of $42 million, faced 35 felony charges of second-degree forgery and identity fraud in Georgia earlier this year, with his case now coming to an end and the young man handed down a 10-year sentence and five-year probation. 

Gilmer County prosecutors brought up a total of 39 charges against Mullins, but some were dismissed or negotiated as the culprit admitted guilt. Mullins tried to falsify license numbers, open credit card accounts in other people’s names, and more, all with the goal of scamming investors into putting down serious buck into various ventures.

When Mullins began his quest from rags to riches, he was only a teenager as his first attempts to secure funding date to 2016 and 2017. During that period, he falsified bank statements and investment agreements. Mullins was ambitious, and he reached out to some of the highest organizations in the ecosystem, attempting to lure investors from Team Liquid, Riot Games, Rogue, and others. 

A Bright Kid with a Ruined Future 

Mullins and his business associates, Joe Amoruso and Kole Money-Melissen, tried to launch a successful League of Legends enterprise which came short on three occasions with Sprout, Volume Gaming, and Draco all turning out to fail starts. Amoruso and Money-Melissen have not been implicated in any of Mullins’ underhand activities, although a Dot Esports investigation confirmed involvement.

While Mullins’ initial efforts to join the ecosystem seemed genuine, he went down on a treacherous path after 2017 when the last competitive outfit, Draco Esports, crashed and burnt. Moving forward, Mullins became inventive in trying to secure various goods and services, including an Audi A5, which he obtained after writing a forged check. 

However, Georgia’s sentence is not the end of Mullins’ reckoning. He is facing multiple other charges in Hamilton County, Tennessee, and prosecutors may yet bring more charges against the young man whose life has gone awry.

The lead investigator, financial crime detective Jeff Bryden, seemed equally distraught about the young man’s fate. Despite apprehending him, Bryden said that in talking to witnesses, everyone described Mullins as a “bright kid.” 

“In my opinion, he could’ve done whatever he wanted to do,” Bryden said earlier this year. The prison sentence now Mullins will serve does not necessarily relate to his esports forays per se, but it was an early indication that his ambition often outweighed his patience. 

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