Tagged: enforcement

SEC Halts Ad Packs Ponzi Scam that Raised Over $38 Million

The Securities and Exchange Commission has posted a complaint, filed in September, against Miami-based Pedro Fort Berbel and his company Fort Marketing Group. The SEC says that Berbel and his company operated  a Ponzi scheme that used a fraudulent internet advertising scam under such names… Read More

Bogus ICO Perp Faces Possible 5 Years in Jail for RECoin Offer that Did Not Really Exist

Crowdfund Insider reported last month about the RECoin Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that promised tokens backed by real estate that did not really exist. Maksim Zaslavskiy, the alleged mastermind behind a fraud launched from a series of companies including RECoin Group Foundation, DRC World and Diamond… Read More

SEC Cyber Unit May Take Point Monitoring ICOs

The Co-Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement, Stephanie Avakian, gave a speech today tackling the topic of retail investor protection and cybersecurity. Both issues have always been important missions at the SEC but recent cyber intrusions at the Commission (and elsewhere, unfortunately) have brought… Read More

Ponzi Scheme: SEC Posts Final Judgement Against Bitcoin Mining Company Gaw Miners & ZenMiner

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed its final judgement against Homero Joshua Garza and his two Bitcoin mining companies GAW Miners and ZenMiner. Garza is liable for $9.182 million for restitution and pre-judgement interest of $742,774. This ends the litigation against Garza with his… Read More

Totally Bogus ICO Shut Down by SEC. RECoin Tokens Never Existed as SEC Claims Fraud.

The Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has shut down an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that claimed to allow investors to participate in an offer backed by diamonds and real estate. The SEC has charged REcoin Group Foundation, DRC World, Diamond Reserve Club, and Maksim… Read More

Fraud: CFTC Charges Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme in Enforcement Action

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a federal civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Defendants Nicholas Gelfman, of Brooklyn, New York, and Gelfman Blueprint, Inc. (GBI), charging the duo with fraud, misappropriation, and issuing… Read More

Final Judgement Document on Ascenergy Crowdfunding Fraud

Some times the wheels of justice move slowly. And sometimes the documentation associated with these wheels lag as well. File this one under recently discovered. The Securities and Exchange Commission released, this past June, the Agreed Final Judgement regarding the case of the Ascenergy crowdfunding… Read More

SEC Suspends Trading of CIAO Group in Advance of ICO

CIAO Group (formerly traded on the pink sheets under CIAU) has received a suspension notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  The enforcement division of the SEC stated; “The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of CIAU because of questions regarding the accuracy… Read More

Bitcoin Fraud: SEC Files Charges Against UK Citizen Who Allegedly Sold Securities in Bogus Businesses

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed fraud charges against Renwick Haddow, a UK citizen living in New York. The SEC said the “clandestine founder” claimed to be the creator of a Bitcoin platform and a chain of co-working spaces located in former bars… Read More

Rich Uncles is Under SEC Scrutiny for Advertising the Sales of Securities

Rich Uncles, a real estate crowdfunding platform, is taking some heat from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to a recent filing with the SEC, Rich Uncles is under investigation by the securities regulator. The investigation may result in significant legal expense too. According… Read More

FINRA Wants to Better Understand Fintech. Launches “Innovation Outreach Initiative”

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has created a new entity to help it better understand Fintech innovation. Announced today, FINRA has created “Innovation Outreach Initiative” to “foster an ongoing dialogue” with the securities as finance goes digital. FINRA says the initiative will build on… Read More

SEC Names Stephanie Avakian & Steven Peikin as Co-Directors of Enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement Stephanie Avakian and former federal prosecutor Steven Peikin have been named Co-Directors of the Division of Enforcement. The SEC’s Division of Enforcement is the agency’s largest unit with more… Read More

NASAA Reports Downward Trend in Enforcement Actions

There were several interesting presentations at the most recent SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (ACSEC) meeting last month.  One of the reports came from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) – the group that represents and lobbies on behalf of state… Read More

Is Your Crowdfunding Portal Ready For Your First FINRA Exam?

With the one year anniversary of Crowdfunding under Regulation Crowdfunding occurring on May 16th, business executives and compliance officers at registered Crowdfunding Portals (CFPs) should be actively preparing for their first regulatory examination by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).   FINRA’s 2017 exam cycle… Read More

Scammer Allegedly Files Fake SEC Document in Plot to Make Money Off of Fitbit Options

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed fraud charges agains Robert W. Murray, a mechanical engineer from Virginia. Murray allegedly cooked up a bogus regulator filing in an attempt to manipulate the share price of Fitbit. In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the… Read More

UK Fintechs Collaborate to Prevent Financial Crimes

Since the 2017 launch of the United Kingdom Fintech Financial Crime Exchange (FFE), the group has accumulated seventeen Fintech market leaders. The Exchange allows for Fintech firms to share information and work together in order to prevent the prevalence of financial crimes. The FFE was founded… Read More

SEC Takes Action Against Bogus Articles Pumping Stocks

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated enforcement actions against 27 individuals and entities behind promotional articles that did not disclose they were paid analysis cloaked as independent research. The SEC said investors were duped into believing they were reading unbiased articles when in… Read More

Suspended: SEC Claims Untrue Statements in Reg A+ Filing by Web Debt Solutions

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently ordered a temporary suspension of a company attempting to raise capital under Reg A+. Web Debt Solutions first filed a Form 1-A with the SEC back in July 2016. The Offering Circular associated with the initial filing stated: Web Debt… Read More

Why Your Initial Coin Offering Is Probably Regulated By Securities Law

It seems that at least once a week nowadays, I get a call asking whether an initial coin offering (ICO) is regulated at all, and the question came to a head at a recent Legal Hackers LA discussion on smart contracts by Daniel Rice. The… Read More

Med-X in Hearing Before Administrative Judge this Month

Med-X, a marijuana-based startup, is engaged in a public hearing this month before Administrative Law Judge Jason S. Patil. The hearings pertain to an attempt to raise capital that was described as the first ever Reg A+ investment crowdfunding round for the Cannabis industry. The proceedings are… Read More