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SEC Chairman Views Cryptocurrency Markets as the “Wild West” and Calls for More Investor Protection

Posted  08/13/21
Cryptocurrency and US Hundred Dollar Bills Scattered Around
During a recent speech discussing the intersection of national security with cryptocurrencies at the Aspen Security Forum, Gary Gensler, the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), made clear the SEC will use its broad powers to continue protecting investors from the volatility associated with cryptocurrency markets which he characterized as the “Wild West.”  He also urged Congress to grant...

How will regulators respond to Bitcoin’s price fluctuations?

Posted  05/18/21
Bitcoins stacked with stocks rising
The price of Bitcoin—never stable—has become even more erratic in the last month.  From April 17 to May 17, the price fell 26%.  Such a huge drop would be noteworthy in a stock investment.  But in something claiming to be a currency, that kind of instability is normally only seen in times of crisis and hyperinflation.  Coming just as cryptocurrencies are making a play to be considered mainstream, this latest...

CFTC Clobbers Cryptocurrency Con Man

Posted  04/1/21
cryptocurrency scam
Last week, the CFTC announced that a federal court entered a nearly $600 million default judgment against a British man who used bitcoin to defraud more than 1,000 people worldwide.  The judgment is yet another indication that the CFTC will vigorously police cryptocurrency fraud.

The Scam

The CFTC filed a complaint against Benjamin Reynolds and his bitcoin trading and investment company, Control-Finance, back in...

Top Ten SEC and CFTC Recoveries of 2020

Posted  01/15/21
top ten list
Despite its many shortcomings, 2020 did bring great news for whistleblowers: record-breaking growth in the CFTC and SEC Whistleblower Programs, as well as massive enforcement actions by both agencies.  In this post, we will detail the Top Ten SEC and CFTC recoveries of 2020 in cases other than FCPA enforcement.  As detailed below, the SEC netted billions of dollars in penalties and restitution from companies accused...

COVID Leaves Bags of Illicit Cash with Nowhere to Go

Posted  05/15/20
pinned money on a clothes line
Few people may have given much thought to the actual mechanics of money laundering beyond rooting (or not) for Skyler and Walt’s carwash business.  Many non-television criminals do, in fact, use otherwise legitimate small businesses to “launder” their money, mixing ill-gotten gains in with legitimate profits.  The shutdown of the international economy has thus had a surprising consequence: illicit funds have...

Catch of the Week: SEC Hits Actor Steven Seagal for Improper ICO Promotion

Posted  03/6/20
bitcoin currency
This week’s Catch of the Week goes to the SEC for securing over $300,000 recovery from actor Steven Seagal in connection with his alleged failure to disclose payments he received for promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) conducted by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G).   The settlement is part of the SEC’s broader effort to combat the role of celebrities in promoting novel—and sometimes fraudulent—cryptocurrency...

Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Team’s Top-Ten “Staff Picks” of 2019

Posted  01/27/20
best of the year letters on a stamp
From cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, and “big data” to private-equity backed healthcare, private detention facilities, and the essential whistleblower experience – your prolific and relentless CC WB bloggers have chosen some of their favorite 2019 posts (and one from 2018) – don’t miss these insider-favorite gems!
    1. Your worst nightmare – private data exposed to the unscrupulous – could be curbed...

The Latest on Cryptocurrency, Offshore Tax Avoidance and Money-Laundering, and Whistleblowing: A Report from OffshoreAlert Miami 2019

Posted  05/3/19
Hanging Hundred Dollar Bills on Clothes Line
“A diverse collection of the hunters and the hunted.” That’s how the Wall Street Journal described the OffshoreAlert Conference in 2009. The 2019 conference was no different, bringing together those who work in the offshore industry, the government enforcers who try to stop the unscrupulous among them, and the asset recovery professionals who pursue lost funds. Alongside them were whistleblowers and their...

Federal Judge — CFTC Can Regulate “Cryptocurrency” Fraud

Posted  10/10/18
Cryptocurrency
In good news for investors, a Massachusetts federal judge recently ruled that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has the authority to fight fraud in the booming virtual currency market. The decision follows on the heels of a ruling in New York where a different federal judge reached the same conclusion. Through the Commodity Exchange Act, Congress authorized the CFTC to fight fraud involving...

Constantine Cannon Partner Mary Inman Moderates Panel "Is Bitcoin the Currency of Criminals or the Future of Money?"

Posted  06/29/18
Join Mary Inman, a partner in Constantine Cannon’s London office, on Monday, 2 July for a lively debate with other SME panelists and delegates of the question “Is Bitcoin the Currency of Criminals or the Future of Money?” Click here to read more and register for the MLROs.com event!
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