After FaZe Clan announced that it had dropped Kay and suspended Jarvis, Nikan, and Teeqo amid cryptocurrency ‘pump and dump’ controversy, co-owner Richard ‘Banks’ Bengston has distanced himself from the drama surrounding the ‘SaveTheKids’ token.
FaZe Clan dropped a major announcement across social media on July 1, revealing that four of its most popular influencers were being dropped or suspended in light of recent engagements with sponsored cryptocurrencies.
Kay was let go from the organization altogether, while his younger brother Jarvis was suspended along with Nikan and Teeqo. All four were hit with these consequences after reportedly ‘pumping and dumping’ a range of altcoins, namely, the ‘Save The Kids’ token.
This label is applied when influencers promote a relatively obscure coin, encouraging their audience to buy in and drive up the value before they cash out and make a profit as the value then begins to tank.
A number of FaZe members have evidently been involved in such schemes. However, Banks has broken his silence on the matter, assuring that he never engaged with ‘pump and dump’ promotions.
In a since-deleted Twitter post from May 27, Banks was seen pushing BankSocial.io. In his promotion, Banks offered $10,000 to a “lucky” fan that spread the announcement.
“This is a project I f**k with heavily and truly believe is the next one to pop,” he said.
Prior to his post, the newly established crypto was valued at roughly $0.000005 USD, according to CoinGecko. The token then soared to a peak value of $0.00000919 — 2.5 times its valuation — within 24 hours of his tweet before plummeting. It currently sits at a value of $0.00000115, down eight-fold from its peak.
Despite this, Banks looked to distance himself from ‘pumping and dumping’ accusations as other FaZe members became implicated. “I’ve never one time been a part of a pump and dump,” he stressed in a July 2 Twitter thread.
“That’s never happened. My wallet’s public. I wasn’t part of any of this. I’m an open book and have an actual love for this space.”
Days later, Banks followed up with further comments in a July 6 Twitter thread. Specifically honing in on the ‘SaveTheKids’ “garbage” that various members engaged with, Banks assured he had “zero involvement or knowledge” of the situation at first, “neither did FaZe Clan.”
“The people involved acted as individuals and did all that sh** on their own,” he stressed. These members were immediately “removed as a result.”
Nobody’s more upset about all of this than we are. We took action the moment this was brought to our attention. Shit’s embarrassing & I honestly wish these guys came to me about this in the beginning so I could’ve shut the entire thing down before it was too late. We had no idea.
— FaZe Banks (@Banks) July 7, 2021
“Nobody’s more upset about all of this than we are. We took action the moment this was brought to our attention. Shit’s embarrassing and I honestly wish these guys came to me about this in the beginning so I could’ve shut the entire thing down before it was too late. We had no idea.”