Alley Katz: Controversy and Fraud

The Cardano Times
12 min readJan 27, 2023

Table of Contents

The Alley Katz Brand: Original or Replicated?
The Alley Katz Name: Unique or Plagiarised?
The Alley Katz Art: Original, Inspired, or Copied?
The Alley Katz Roadmap: Destined Success or Unclear Future?
The Alley Katz FAQ: Informative or Incomplete?
The Founders: The Morgan Brothers and Their Past
Meet Tyler and Taylor Morgan: Avid Gamers and Developers
Meet The Real Tyler and Taylor Morgan: Former Marines and COs
Meet The Real Tyler and Taylor Morgan: Self-Admitted Fraudsters
Conclusion

As many have been made aware; Alley Katz ( a Cardano-Based NFT project), recently had a number of scandals/allegations that have absolutely rocked the project as they prepare to mint on February 1st.

From allegations of copying multiple projects to establish their brand and artwork to troubling revelations about the founders’ pasts, the project is one riddled with controversy and founders with a rather shady history.

“An NFT project that will onboard users to Cardano through Gaming, Streetwear and Web3.” -AlleyKatz Website

The AlleyKatz Brand: Original or Replicated?

AlleyKatz is a project aiming to onboard users to Cardano through a number of manners, most notably unifying their community through gaming and streetwear clothing. Although seemingly unique and a fresh project htting the scene, there are a number of concerns in regards to how this project was created and who the team took inspiration from.

The AlleyKatz Name: Unique or Plagiarised?

The AlleyKatz name is at first glance a rather unique play on words that offers both a catchy brand name and easily memorable one. But this name is not a new one, in fact it has been utilized by another projects in the past.

On Ethereum; there is a project that was created in January of 2022 that goes by the same name as the project in Cardano, AlleyKatz (Ethereum-based Alley Katz on OpenSea). Simply searching up Alley Katz on Google provides pretty visible evidence that such a brand in the world of Web3 has been around for quite some time.

Cardano-Based Alley Katz Pictured Left and Ethereum-Based Alley Katz

Although the art and branding is visibly different in regards to these projects, the name of these two projects are exactly identical. How is it that the team behind the Cardano-based AlleyKatz had not done proper research to realize that their name had already been utilized in the world of Web3 for quite sometime? It also is important to note that the project based on Cardano actually has the legal rights to the Alley Katz brand/name.

We reached out to multiple members of the Cardano-based AlleyKatz for comments on this discovery, but they declined to respond to requests for comment and timed us out of their discord server after direct messaging their staff until the day after their mint begins. We had not made any comments whatsoever in their Discord before being timed out.

The AlleyKatz Art: Original, Heavily-Inspired, or Copied?

Furthermore; it is not simply the brand name that seems to be identical or very similar to other projects on alternative blockchains, there have been new allegations that the art work for AlleyKatz is strikingly similar to that of a Solana-based project called Cats on Crack.

Pictured below to the left is an NFT from the AlleyKatz project and pictured to the right is an NFT from the Cats on Crack project:

The Cardano Times does not own the Cats on Crack NFT pictured to the right

There are quite visible differences to the overall structures of the base models and many of the traits are strikingly different, but this has not stopped speculation as to where the AlleyKatz project took inspiration from in the creation of this collection.

We reached out to all members of the AlleyKatz team to comment on the speculation around their artwork and whether or not they took inspiration from any of its predecessors, but once again each and every member declined to respond to requests to comment.

The AlleyKatz Roadmap: Destined Success or Unclear Future?

Another aspect of the project that has drawn scrutiny is the lack of plans for after the mint on the roadmap. Although producing a multitude of marketing initiatives and plans to gain attention on the project before the mint, there is little to no information provided on the future of the project as well as the team’s plan to allow it to flourish.

Although announcing that Phase 2 of the roadmap will be released at a later date, there is no definitive date on when this will be announced or concrete details on what the future holds for the project.

The website has offered its community a glimpse into what the plans might be for the future of the project, highlighting an aspect of their project called Tangible Drip; the official clothing line of the project created in collaboration with unnamed designers, and also mentions that there will be far more than one collection of clothing in the future.

But other than minimal details in regards to their streetwear clothing line, very little information is present on how they will actually onboard users to Cardano through gaming and Web3 initaitves or how they will utilize the funding to allow the project to flourish for the long-term.

In the FAQ section, very little information is offered on what holders would gain by purchasing an AlleyKatz NFT. All that has been stated is that an NFT from their project will double as a pass into their ecosystem.

The AlleyKatz FAQ: Informative or Incomplete?

Another questionable aspect of the project’s website is that it appears the FAQ section offers false information to its community. The FAQ has not been updated whatsoever after the announcements regarding the Mint Date and Price were made on Twitter and Discord. Currently, the FAQ still states that the Mint Date and Mint Price are TBA (To be announced).

It is concerning to some that the project has not updated the FAQ section, which could hurt community members as fraudsters looking to impersonate the project have an easy opportunity to capitalize on their failure to properly update information and post harmful links posing as the minting site for AlleyKatz.

Disclaimer:

*The content in this section provides context to the speculation arising from the community. We have not independelty verified whether or not they had known about copying the name of an Ethereum-based NFT project as well as if they had taken inspiration from any other projects for their artwork like Cats on Crack. We had hoped we could have their perspective on the allegations against them as they seek to be transparent, but they have refused to be involved in the making of this article and have chosen to only speak on these allegations through Twitter Spaces they host/control as well as the confines of their Discord Server in which they can time out anyone at will. This information provided is purely to be educational on the project and does not serve as concrete fact. Make of this information as you must, but we are simply here to assist in the project’s efforts for transparency the community deserves.*

The Founders: The Morgan Brothers and their Past

But nothing about this project has faced more scrutiny than the founders themselves, becoming entrenched with a load of disturbing discoveries involving their past that they have time and time again refused to discuss with their community until a prominent space host by the name of EL exposed them. Let’s meet the brothers and learn about who they are.

Meet Tyler and Taylor Morgan: Avid Gamers and Developers

Tyler and Taylor Morgan are brothers and co-founders of the Alley Katz NFT project, and have been largely the faces of the brand as they have expanded their outreach to all aspects of Cardano.

On the official AlleyKatz Documentation, Tyler Morgan was a former “software engineer” at a startup and his prior work experience includes “mobile development, and other engineering things you probably aren’t interested in.” Tyler is also a self-described avid video gamer who loves Halo 3.

As for Taylor, per the official AlleyKatz Documentation, Taylor Morgan was a former “development relations engineer” who has a fondness for tacos and jui-jitsu. Much like his brother, he is an avid video gamer who loves classic titles like H3, Black Ops 2, and Modern Warfare 2.

Meet The Real Tyler and Taylor Morgan: Former Marines and COs

The official documentation hoping to shed light on the personalities and history of the team is surely lacking huge pieces of information that narrows the focus of these founder’s history to merely the last two years. The documentation has completely left out a majority of their lives and work experience, especially how both of the brothers served in the Marine Corps, were stationed at Camp Pendleton, and served as corrections officers for the Orange County Sherriff’s Department.

Meet Tyler Morgan, a Long Beach Resident and Former Marine that was stationed at Camp Pendleton from 2017–2020. Tyler Morgan also served as a corrections officer for the Orange County Sherriff’s Department.

Meet Taylor Morgan, a Long Beach Resident and Former Marine that was stationed at Camp Pendleton from 2017–2019 and also served alongside his brother as a corrections officer for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

This extremely major aspect of their lives were seemingly left out entirely in public discussions they had on Twitter spaces, the introductions they gave to members of their community both online and in person at CNFTcon, as well as their documentation on the Alley Katz website. For a project dedicated to transparency and honesty, why was this seemingly left out? It’s because they violated their duty to protect their country and fellow citizens. Instead, they preyed on them.

Meet The Real Tyler and Taylor Morgan: Self-Admitted Fraudsters

As Tyler and Taylor Morgan served in the Marine Corps for a number of years, they had obtained access to military document templates accidentally sent to them by a superior officer. Instead of turning them in, they capitalized on the opportunity; using them to illicitly obtain paid leave while claiming to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that they were on active duty.

By submitting a combined 50 fraudulent military orders, the brothers fraudulently obtained taxpayer funded salaries from the Sheriff's Department by claiming that they were heading into active duty as reservists for the Marines. But, there is no record of them ever being called into active duty except for the fraudulent occasions.

“From June 2017 to November 2019, Tyler Morgan submitted 24 fraudulent military orders to the Sheriff’s Department to obtain military leave. From May 2017 to January 2020, Taylor Morgan submitted 25 fraudulent military orders to obtain military leave from the department. In fact, neither had been ordered by the Marine Corps to fulfill active duty obligations with their reserve units.” — The Orange County Register

In this scheme, the brothers were paid nearly $50,000 combined and had been given 100 days of military leave to which they were not entitled to. They also knowingly committed the scheme over the course of several years, and authorities discovered the scheme accidentally as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department conducted an internal investigation on the corruption taking place by deputies and corrections officers. (According to the Orange County Register)

Authorities investigated Tyler and Taylor Morgan as well as 5 other deputies that were accused of falsifying their military reserve orders in an effort to obtain paid leave. At the end of the investigation, Tyler and Taylor Morgan pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor of possession of a government authentication device. As part of the plea agreement, Tyler and Taylor Morgan faced no jail time but had to admit that they had indeed fraudulent obtained paid leave funded by taxpayers by falsifying military documents.

“There is nothing shocking about this. Nobody lost a day of pay for what occurred in the informant scandal. Nobody got charged in the evidence booking scandal until we made it public. Then the prosecution claimed they were bringing down the hammer: the two worst offenders [Tyler and Taylor Morgan] pleaded to a misdemeanor and no jail time. There is no accountability and no fear.” — Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders on the scandals that have absolutely rocked the Sheriff’s Department as well as Tyler/Taylor’s sentencing.

Although both Tyler and Taylor have somewhat acknowledged the disturbing revelations discovered about their past, they have been nothing but misleading and at some times deceiving in what really occurred in their scheme to defraud taxpayers. In a Google Document provided by their team, they deliberately mislead and deceived their community. They claimed that they were simply charged with a misdemeanor as a result of military letters they had in their possession given to them by their superior officer (a confirmed lie), but failed to confess that they had admitted to conducting a fraudulent scheme to defraud taxpayers as part of the plea agreement reached by their lawyers and the prosecutors. They also deliberately chose to go into specifics about what was publicly available online in articles discussing the scandal that rocked Orange County.

We have independently verified their claims as false after we had a discussion with the the Public Advisor of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Santa Ana, Mr. McEvoy. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also released a statement confirming that both Tyler and Taylor not only fraudulent obtained military documents, but were also involved in a years-long scheme to defraud taxpayers out of nearly $50,000.

“The actions of these seven individuals do not represent the values of this organization and absolutely do not reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women who have courageously served our country as members of the armed forces.” -Sheriff Don Barnes on the 7 deputies who falsified military documents to obtain paid leave.

The harsh reality is that although they were charged with simply the fraudulent handling of military documents, the plea agreement explicity stated that both Tyler and Taylor Morgan conducted a years-long scheme to defraud taxpayers out of nearly $50,000. Although the Morgan brothers have tried to control the narrative, these are the cold hard facts.

Disclaimer:

*The content in this section was written to provide speculative/factual context, further information, and independent verification about the Morgan Brothers. We had hoped that we could have had their story shared in this article, but after multiple occassions of declining to comment, interview requests, as well as an apparent censorship attempt to restrict us from sharing this information in their Discord server, we had no choice but to carry on with the article without their input or side of the story. We respect their attempts to be transparent, and we had hoped they would join us in providing transparency about their past. Unfortunately, that was just not possible.

Conclusion

With the shady past of the founders that they refused to come forward about until it came to light by a third party along with the plethora of allegations regarding the originality of the brand, name, and art; it is not suprising to find AlleyKatz becoming the talk of Cardano as they prepare for the mint on February 1st.

From deliberately covering up their past encounters with federal authorities, prior convictions, and former job occupation; one can only speculate as to the motives behind such deeds.

Cardano and its community are no stranger to fraud and the damages it causes, as well as bad actors completely hiding their past; and the Morgan brothers have done both.

Disclaimer:

*This article is not designed to persuade you to mint/not mint or serve as financial advice, it is purely written to inform the public about the allegations facing an NFT project as well as the legitimate scandals rocking the Cardano community. It’s up to you to digest this information and make a decision that is best for you, your financial security, and mental wellbeing. The Cardano Times will not engage in unwarranted FUD, misinformation, or defamation of any project and/or individual.*

--

--

The Cardano Times

Keeping you informed of the Cardano Ecosystem one article and podcast at a time. Education is a right, not a privilege. Twitter: @TheCardanoTimes