Ozy Media head Carlos Watson: ‘I’m not a ‘swindler’ now and never have been’

Carlos Watson, the CEO of the digital media company Ozy Media, denied wrongdoing on Friday when he was accused of fraud, saying: “I am not now and never have been a ‘swindler’.”

Watson said on Twitter that he has been a “hard-working entrepreneur” who helped build the company from scratch and plans to “fight these charges with everything I’ve got.”

I worked around the clock 10 years to build this business and spend my savings to get us through tough times,” he tweeted. “This has been a life’s work and I’m proud of what I, my family and my team have been able to achieve.”

“I’m not saying I haven’t made mistakes – I have. But it’s fair to ask, why was I chosen? OZY is a real and valuable company built through tremendous hard work and sacrifice,” he continued.

Watson was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud after another Ozy Media executive, Samir Rao, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and identity theft in a federal court in Brooklyn, NY earlier this week.

Watson pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors allege he made “material misrepresentations and omissions” about the company as part of a scheme to defraud investors, lenders and potential investors, acquirers and lenders.

The company and Watson have been under federal investigation since The New York Times reported in 2021 that Rao posed as a top YouTube official in a conference call with potential Goldman Sachs investors and praised Ozy Media’s success.

Watson has said he was not involved in the scheme at all.





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