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Cryptocurrency

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and others. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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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...

October 21, 2020

Cryptocurrency issuer Kik Interactive Inc. will pay a $5 million penalty in a consent judgment resolving claims by the SEC that Kik’s unregistered offering of digital “Kin” tokens in 2017 violated U.S. securities laws.  The consent judgment finds that Kin tokens were investment contracts and the offering did not qualify for any exemption from registration requirements.  Kik sold the tokens through both public and private sales; the court found that the sales were a single integrated offering.   SEC

October 2, 2020

Jon Barry Thompson of Pennsylvania has been ordered to pay approximately $7.4 million in restitution for making false representations to two customers regarding purchases of Bitcoin.  According to the CFTC press release, Thompson induced the customers to send him the funds by assuring them he had the Bitcoin in hand.  However, after receiving the funds, he distributed the money to third parties, failed to provide the customers with any Bitcoin, and made false representations regarding the location of the Bitcoin and the status of the funds.  Thompson pleaded guilty to one count of commodities fraud in a parallel action relating to this matter, and will be sentenced in January 2021.  CFTC

September 15, 2020

Online gaming and gambling platform Unikm, Inc. agreed to pay a $6.1 million penalty to resolve allegations that the company unlawfully sold unregistered securities in its initial coin offering of “UnikoinGold” (UKG) tokens.  The recovered funds will be used to repay injured investors.  SEC

June 26, 2020

Telegram Group Inc. and its subsidiary TON Issuer Inc. will return more than $1.2 billion to investors and pay a $18.5 million civil penalty to resolve SEC charges that it conducted an unlawful unregistered offering of its digital tokens called “Grams.” The SEC alleged that the Grams were securities sold by defendants in order to raise capital to finance for their own business, which included the development of their own blockchain and a mobile messenger application.  SEC

May 28, 2020

Blockchain company BitClave PTE Ltd agreed to pay disgorgement, penalties, and interest totaling $29.7 million to resolve charges arising from its 2017 unregistered initial coin offering of digital tokens it called Consumer Activity Tokens (CATs).  The CATs were investment contracts, with proceeds of the ICO used to fund the development of BitClave’s blockchain-based search platform for consumer advertising, which BitClave offered and sold to the general public as providing the opportunity for future profits arising from the efforts of BitClave and its agents.  SEC

COVID Leaves Bags of Illicit Cash with Nowhere to Go

Posted  05/15/20
By Sarah “Poppy” Alexander
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...

November 14, 2019

Veritaseum, Inc. and Veritaseum, LLC, together with their owner Reginald Middleton, agreed to pay $9.5 million to resolve claims of fraudulent conduct in their VERI Initial Coin Offering. Defendants were alleged to have misrepresented the potential profitability and viability of Veritaseum's purported operations, the use of funds raised in the VERI ICO, and the amount of funds raised in the VERI ICO.  Middleton was further alleged to have engaged in conduct to manipulate the price of VERI.  Defendants will disgorge $7.9 million in gains, plus interest, and Middleton will pay a $1 million civil penalty.  SEC
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