The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against GA Investors as well as anonymous operators or “John Does 1-4” alleging fraudulent offerings of securities that includes crypto. The SEC said the bogus offerings were made available through “dozens of websites.” The SEC is seeking emergency relief and an order for the sites to be removed immediately.
According to the SEC, claims of guaranteed returns were promoted, and in one case, a site pumped returns as high as 61.9% in 24 hours.
The SEC complaint also alleges that some of the websites also impersonated legitimate companies, including a registered broker-dealer.
The complaint indicates that investors were solicited from around the world, including investors in the United States, who invested approximately $85,000 in GA Investors’ offering.
The complaint states that investors were directed to purchase crypto from a separate crypto asset trading platform and transfer those assets to a GA Investors wallet address. The complaint alleges that, although some investors were able to make small withdrawals from their accounts when the investors sought to recoup larger portions of their investments, the defendants froze investor accounts and misappropriated the investor funds.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, charges GA Investors and John Does 1-4 with violating the antifraud provisions. The SEC seeks an order granting a temporary restraining order, asset freeze, and other emergency relief. The complaint also seeks permanent injunctive relief, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and civil monetary penalties.
As of this writing, at least one website is still live.
The SEC complaint is available here.