As a documentary delving deep into how one can easily establish phony financial enterprises to scam innocent individuals across the globe, Netflix’s ‘Bitconned’ can only be described as baffling. After all, it comprises not just archival footage but also exclusive interviews with key people such as a self-admitted crook, his acquaintances, his loved ones, and his victims to really explore his money-driven tale. So now, if you simply wish to learn more about Raymond “Ray” Trapani — with a focus on his actions, background, experiences, as well as current standing — we’ve got the essential details for you.
Who is Ray Trapani?
It was back when Ray was merely a young boy growing up in Atlantic Beach, New York, that he first fell in love with this idea of being a fraudster, only for it to continue expanding as the years passed. “I’ve always wanted to be a criminal,” he conceded in the original. “I was never like, ‘I’m gonna be a doctor’ or ‘I’m gonna be a scientist.’ If I could’ve put in my yearbook, I would’ve put, ‘I wanna be a criminal.'” The truth is he was raised solely by a single mother of three plus her parents, so success and security were always on his mind, driving him to consistently run down the wrong path for quick cash flow.
In fact, Ray was merely an adolescent when he began trying to achieve his dream of being a millionaire by using a stolen prescription pad to deal in drugs at premium rates while also using them. Whether it be Xanax, Oxy, or any other such narcotic, he dabbled in a lot until it went belly up — he was one of the first to be arrested from his group yet walked away scott-free because he cooperated (he snitched). Then came his partnership with two former classmates to run a legitimate business, but their addictions, needlessly luxurious spending habits, plus partying lifestyles threatened everything.
Ray, Sohrab “Sam” “Sorbee” Sharma, and a mutual friend named Bert had launched Miami Exotics in 2014 to provide the most opulent vehicles to local affluent individuals on rent, but it didn’t pan out. They actually ended up in such debt — most of which was apparently in the names of the former’s family members — that they had to find a way out despite the business itself doing rather well with a fleet of 34 cars. This led the youngster further into drugs, gambling, as well as literal suicidal tendencies, that is, until Sorbee came to him with the idea of expanding their wings into the world of crypto.
Thus came Centra Tech in late 2016/early 2017 — a platform through which co-founders Ray, Sorbee, and Robert Farkas promised investors a genuine connection between digital and real money. They truly claimed they’d provide users a debit card for easy cryptocurrency transactions, which helped them garner millions before it came to light they not only lacked in technology but also basic credentials. They had nothing to back their assertions; they were mere scammers who’d tried to turn legitimate once cash, celebrity endorsements, and charges started rolling in, yet to absolutely no avail.
Ray was not a Harvard graduate as he’d declared, he had no idea about the technology he was promoting, and his family was still in debt, so he’d spiraled further by the time early 2018 rolled around. In fact, this Centra Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer, as well as Strategic Manager was admittedly incredibly high following a night of gambling when FBI agents arrested him on April 20, 2018. But alas, he turned on his acquaintances within a moment and agreed to cooperate, leading him to a stint in rehab, several questioning sessions, plus very lenient treatment by the government.
Where is Ray Trapani Now?
In the end, despite Ray having pled guilty to 10 federal counts related to security fraud, conspiracy to commit security fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, he was sentenced to time served. The judge said, in part, “I’m very much influenced by the government’s report of your cooperation. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the word ‘extraordinary’ used in connection with cooperation, and now I’ve heard it multiple times at every stage of this case. From the investigation to the sentencing of your co-defendants… I really didn’t want to interrupt the path you are on because you seem to be doing so well.”
That’s because Ray had been clean following a total of 13 rehab terms, and he was even becoming a father — his partner Kimberly Costanzo actually went into labor the morning of this final court hearing on April 4, 2020, so he missed the birth of their son, Liam. We should clarify he faced over 100 years in federal prison, so he essentially walked away with a slap on the wrist with time served before bail because he agreed to snitch on his accomplices, reveal their tactics, plus help the government retrieve $32 million in stolen money. He was also ordered to pay $2.9 million to his victims as restitution, but none of them have received any compensation as of yet, according to the documentary.
As for Ray’s current standing, from what we can tell, he splits his time between his home state of New York and Florida with his growing family — the latter is where he reportedly bought a house two months after his sentencing. He has since asserted his wife and father-in-law co-signed for this place but cheekily also indicated his shady days are not behind him in their entirety — he may even have some of the money he acquired from Centra’s users stashed away somewhere. “My f**king whole story is shady sh*t,” he said in the aforecited production. And now, it seems like he’s planning on establishing a new business, Cambridge & Brown, through which he’ll offer loans to those “in need” at 50% interest. Plus, he continues to make public appearances as well as has the unwavering support of Kimberly, whom he met while on bail wearing an ankle bracelet and who fell pregnant within a month of their meeting.