Fraudulent and unregistered sale of the following tokens by Richard Scheuler a/k/a Richard Heart: Hex, PulseChain (PLS), and PulseX (PLSX), marketed as the first high-yield "blockchain certificate of deposit," promoted as an investment designed to make people "rich" by offering returns as high as 38 percent.
Action against proprietors of "DEBT Box" that fraudulently sold investors unregistered crypto asset securities in the form of "node licenses" to permit them to "mine" a number of different cryptocurrencies supposedly tied to real-world assets like gold and oil; in reality the tokens were simply created ERC-20 tokens and were never mined and not tied to real world assets. Defendants instead used investor funds for personal luxry expenses.
Administrative settlement regarding ICO of QSP tokens in 2017, raising $28 million. Settlement includes $3.5 million in disgorgement, fines, and interest, and a requirement to burn all remaining QSP tokens in Quanstamp's treasury.
Parallel enforcement action with DOJ, CFTC, and FTC. Celsius along with former CEO Alexander Mashinsky, charged with securities fraud and unregistered sale of the company's crypto token, CEL.
Parallel enforcement action with DOJ and CFTC. Securities fraud charges over crypto-based scheme "Ichioka Ventures." Falsely promised 10% monthly returns, defrauding 100+ people of tens of millions. Used funds for luxury items, personal expenses, and repaying older investors.
Action against crypto exchange Coinbase and its holding company for operating as an unregistered securities broker, exchange, and clearing house, selling unregistered securities through its platform as well as its Prime and Wallet services. Alleges SOL, ADA, MATIC, FIL, SAND, AXS, CHZ, FLOW, ICP, NEAR, VGX, DASH, and NEXO tokens are securities, as well as Coinbase's staking program for XTZ, ATOM, ETH, ADA, and SOL.
Action against Binance crypto exchange (both foreign and U.S. entities) and its founder Changpeng Zhao (CZ) for unregistered sales of securities, running an unregistered securities exchange / broker dealer / clearing house, and committing fraud in so doing. Alleges BNB, BUSD, SOL, ADA, MATIC, FIL, ATOM, SAND, MANA, ALGO, AXS, and COTI tokens are securities, as well as Binance's BNB Vault, Simple Earn, and Staking-as-a-Service programs.
Action against Bittrex crypto exchange and its founder for operating as an unregistered exchange, broker, and clearinghouse, and for the sale of unregistered securities in the form of crypto assets OMG, DASH, ALGO, TKN, NGC, IHT. Settled for $24 million in fines and penalties.
Action against crypto exchange Beaxy for being an unregistered securities exchange and selling unregistered securities BXY and DRGN; misappropriation by one founder of at least $900,000; consent judgments entered against market makers on the exchange for market making in those tokens while being unregistered dealers.
Action against Justin Sun and his companies for unregistered offer and sale of crypto asset securities Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT); also includes charges for fraudulently manipulating the secondary market for TRX through extensive wash trading, and paying two celebrities — DeAndre Cortez Way (Soulja Boy) and Austin Mahone — to promote TRX without disclosing their compensation.
Six celebrities settled with the SEC related to their promotion of the TRX token without disclosing that they were paid promotions or the amounts of their compensation.
Fraudulent offering of unregistered securities that was purportedly a blockchain mining operation in a new token GREEN; no blockchain existed, no mining was performed.
Fraud action against senior FTX executive for defrauding investors in FTX as well as its customers.
Fraud action against crypto investment fund; $100 million raised, but money was used to make Ponzi-like payments and to fund lavish personal lifestyles. The SEC obtained an injunction and asset freeze. Complaint also alleges violations of the Advisers Act.
Settled anti-touting charges against former NBA player related to EMAX token. $1.4 million fine.
Fraudulent offer and sale of unregistered securities, including algorithmic stablecoin UST, related coin LUNA, and other assets. Unregistered offer of security-based swaps and effecting transactions in security-based swaps with ineligible participants. Control person liability against founder Do Kwon.
Unregistered sale of "staking-as-a-service" securities whereby Kraken would pool user deposited crypto assets for staking, in exchange for returns of up to 20% or more. $30 million settlement entered without proceeding past complaint.
Fraud and market manipulation of Mango Markets and its tokens in order to steal $116 million.
Unregistered offer and sale of the Nexo Earn Interest Product, an interest-bearing crypto asset account.
Unregistered sale of securities in the form of the Gemini Earn crypto asset lending program.
Unregistered offering fraud of "CoinDeal," raising $45 million.
Fraud in offer/sale/purchase of FTX stock by Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang; alleges in detail that FTT was a crypto asset security. Consent judgments entered by both defendants.
Fraudulent pyramid scheme, Forcount Trader Systems, targeting Spanish-speaking communities promising investors returns in a fake crypto asset trading and mining operation.
Fraud in offer/sale/purchase of FTX stock by Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of FTX, in part based on misleading statements re FTT token and risk strategy.
Order instituting public hearings regarding alleged omissions and misstatements in attempt to register two crypto asset securities.
"Trade Coin Club" ponzi scheme that raised more than 82,000 bitcoin, but diverted assets for personal purposes.
Fraudulent promotion of crypto asset trading program Arbitraging.co, which promised returns of up to 1% per day. Settled the same day it was filed for $207k disgorgement, officer-and-director bar.
Anti-touting re EMAX tokens. $1.26M penalty through settlement.
Pump-and-dump re DIG tokens.
Fraudulent, unregistered sale of Hydro tokens, market manipulation re same.
Fraudulent sale of crypto investment services and Ponzi scheme, instead diverting client funds for personal purposes and other business ventures. Additional charges include violations of the Advisers Act.
Unregistered sale of SPRK tokens.
Anti-touting re SPRK tokens. Jurisdiction based on Ethereum validator concentration in United States.
Fraud enforcement re investment of funds in digital assets.
Fraud enforcement re unregistered crypto asset securities offering.
Unregistered offering of Dragon coin
Unregistered ICO related to an online identity attestation platform.
Ponzi/fraud enforcement against founders of Forsage.
Insider trading charges against former Coinbase employee based on 25 tokens, 9 of which — AMP, RLY, DDX, XYO, RGT, LCX, POWR, DFX, KROM — are described as crypto asset securities.
Founders of EmpiresX misappropriated $40m raised from investors. Related CFTC and DOJ actions.
NASGO sold SNP tokens as unregistered securities
fraudulent/unregistered sale of securities; parallel criminal actions against founders
(founder of Block Bits Capital)
Fraudulent sales of investment in crypto "mining packages" promising daily returns of 1%, paid in bitcoin. Instead investors received "Capital Coin" which could only be used on a fake trading platform.
Unregistered ICO re Ormeus token
Unregistered sale of crypto lending product. $100M fine split between SEC and 32 states.
Fraudulent sale of investment in Gold Hawgs Development Corp. for development of new cryptocurrency. Funds instead diverted for personal purposes.
Fraudulent use of ICO sales of CMCT token.
🟧 ICO / US
Unregistered and fraudulent ICOs re Denaro and Innovamine.
Unregistered and fraudulent securities offering based on purported "cryptocurrency trading and advertising arbitrage." Ginster used funds for personal expenses.
Petition to compel responses to investigative subpoenas approved by trial court, affirmed on appeal to Second Circuit.
Action objecting to service on Do Kwon voluntarily dismissed.
Admin procedure re material deficiencies in attempted registration of crypto asset securities, Ducat token and Locke token.
Settlement regarding unregistered sale of both stock and tokens; GTV and individual executives to pay total fines/penalties/interest of $523.6 million.
Unregistered sale of crypto asset security RvT token through pre-sale and ICO. Detailed allegations re why RvT was a security.
Fraudulent, unregistered sale of securities in the form of BitConnect lending program that was really a Ponzi-scheme. Over $2 billion (based on 325,000 BTC value) raised through many commissioned, but undisclosed, agents.
(See related case against promoters below.)
Unregistered digital asset security exchange; settlement totaled $10.3 million, including disgorgement, interest, and fine.
Unregistered and fraudulent offering of securities through DeFi Money Market. Assets claimed to be backing interest earning tokens were never acquired by DMM.
Unregistered ICO of UULA tokens that included fraudulent representations about underlying payments technology.
Coinschedule was paid by persons conducting ICOs to list the offerings on its website, but failed to disclose that fact. Separate statement by Commissioners Peirce and Roisman on failure of SEC to identify which listings were securities.
Insider trading charges based on disclosure of publicly traded Long Island Iced Tea Co.'s plans to change its name to Long Blockchain Corp.
Fraudulent ICO of LOCIcoin based on misrepresentations about Loci's business.
Additional action re fraudulent ICO of BCT Tokens, purportedly to develop tech for hedge funds, against additional participants.
Many frauds, including an offering of Apis Tokens, purportedly representing tokenized interests in Apis Capital's main investment fund.
(BitConnect promoters, see above at 2021.09.01)
Unregistered sale of LBRY tokens. Court granted MSJ in SEC's favor concluding tokens were securities on Nov. 7, 2022. (Opinion on CaseText, CourtListener)
Fraudulent fundraising purportedly to invest in digital assets, instead misappropriating assets.
Revocation of company's securities for failure to file quarterly and annual reports.
Unregistered sale of CSD tokens.
Fraudulent ICO of B2G tokens, misappropriating millions of retail investor funds.
Fraudulent, unregistered sale of SAFTs regarding tokens that were never released for a platform that never launched.
Unregistered sale of TNT coins for the Tierion Network for blockchain receipts.
Ponzi scheme by purported algorithmic cryptocurrency arbitrage investment platform.
Unregistered sale of XRP tokens from 2013 through the present.
Unregistered ICO of SHIP tokens to develop a blockchain platform related to shipping and logistics.
Unregistered sale of Pearl tokens in connection with Oyster Protocol, while also covertly minting a secret supply that Elmaani sold into the market.
Fraudulently touting 7 (unidentified) ICOs without disclosing promotional status, and also fraudulently scalping holdings from the same ICOs.
Unregistered ICO of Salt Tokens to develop a dollar-denominated loan business secured by blockchain assets.
Fraudulent ICO of SCRL digital assets to fund blockchain-based platform called the Scroll Network, misrepresenting current revenues and SoluTech product capabilities.
Unregistered ICO of UnikoinGold token to enhance features on a gaming platform and secondary trading market. $6.1 million disgorgement.
Fraudulent, unregistered ICO. Funds were misappropriated to purchase luxury goods and real estate for personal use.
Unregistered broker-dealing in AirBit, a pyramid scheme to purportedly achieve high returns through algorithmic digital asset day-trading by robots.
Unregistered ICO of Boon Coins to develop a software platform to connect employers with freelancers.
Sale of securities-based swaps to ineligible participants, in violation of Securities Act § 5(e), and effecting transactions in those swaps outside of registered exchanges in violation of Exchange Act § 6(l).
Fraudulent, unregistered ICO of "AML BitCoin," a purportedly compliant-focused token, when it had not developed this technology; founders misappropriated funds for personal use.
Personal action against promoter of NAC Foundation, LLC's scheme, above.
Fraudulent offering of securities in crypto investment fund by misrepresenting fund performance, forging financial statements and audit documents.
Unregistered ICO of CAT tokens to fund blockchain-based search platform for targeted consumer advertising.
Fraudulent offering of securities in purported crypto mining operation, crypto trading packages, and misappropriation of funds.
Fraudulent, unregistered sales of DROP tokens. None of the promoted, underlying technology ever existed. Founders took funds for personal use.
Injunction to stop promoters of fraudulent ICO in Meta 1 Coin, which was backed by nothing.
Anti-touting action against actor Steven Seagal re B2G coin ICO.
Unregistered ICO of the ENG Tokens promising to use funds to develop a digital asset trade-testing platform and crypto data marketplace.
Fraudulent offering of pooled investment in cryptocurrencies, run as a Ponzi scheme.
Fraudulent ICO of OPP Tokens through misrepresentations about the business and tech, targeting small businesses.
Fraudulent ICO of BCT Tokens, purportedly to develop tech for hedge funds.
Unregistered sale of BCOT tokens.
Fraudulent, unregistered offering of Shopin tokens for purported creation of blockchain-based "universal shopper profile."
Unregistered purchase and sale of security-based swaps, including purchases made with bitcoin, in violation of Securities Act § 5(e), and effecting transactions in those swaps outside of registered exchanges in violation of Exchange Act § 6(l).
Preliminary injunction to prevent $1.7 billion token distribution. Settled for $1.2 billion return to investors and $18.5 million civil penalty.
Unregistered sale of "Siastock" and "SiaNotes" to support development of a decentralized cloud data storage technology.
Unregistered ICO to support development of EOSIO software, an operating system designed to support public or private blockchains. $24M penalty.
Fraudulent ICO of FM tokens, purportedly for an adult entertainment "fantasy marketplace."
Unregistered ICO of ICOS tokens to provide services to digital asset startups that could not afford them; unregistered broker-dealer activities for its clients' tokens.
Fraudulent, unregistered offering of Bitqy and BitqyM tokens.
ICO Rating purported to provide neutral evaluations of ICOs but in fact received, but failed to disclose, compensation as a promoter.
Unregistered sale of securities to support development of Health Nexus, a blockchain protocol through which healthcare providers could share patient data.
Emergency injunction action to stop dissipation of proceeds of fraudulent ICO of VERI Tokens. Court granted the injunction and the case settled.
Fraudulent pump-and-dump scheme effected by announcing acquisition of a sham cryptocurrency company, Ziddu.com.
Unregistered sales of Kin tokens, raising $100 million. Sales proceeds to be used to fund development of goods and services marketplace by Kik, an otherwise failing mobile messaging application. SEC prevails on summary judgment. The final judgment imposes restrictions on Kik's reserve allocation of tokens and includes a $5 million fine.
Fraudulent MLM pyramid scheme, in which investors were promised ability to convert recruitment points into the "PRO Currency," a cryptocurrency purportedly to be used in a new ecosystem of e-commerce transactions. Proceeds of sales misappropriated for personal use.
Fraudulent sale of convertible debentures in crypto investment company; misrepresentations about advisors to the company.
Among other frauds, fraudulent, unregistered offering of Argyle Coin, a cryptocurrency purportedly backed by fancy diamonds.
Trading halted in BTGN based on concerns about accuracy and adequacy of disclosures.
Unregistered sale of digital asset investment fund, including misrepresentations about the amount of money raised and the size of other investors' positions.
Unregistered offer and sale of GLA tokens for use in a network of cybersecurity services. Due to self-reporting and remedial measures, no penalty imposed.
Unregistered sale of investment fund focused on digital assets.
Undisclosed payments received in exchange for promoting ICOs.
Undisclosed payments received in exchange for promoting ICOs.
Unregistered ICO of PRG tokens to implement Paragon's business plan to add blockchain technology to the cannabis industry and work towards legalization of cannabis.
Unregistered ICO of AirTokens to fund development of blockchain-based system for prepaid mobile phone users to earn free or discounted airtime or data by interacting with ads.
Enforcement against creator of EtherDelta, a ERC20 and ETH exchange, for failing to register the exchange. $300k disgorgement, $75k penalty.
⭕️ = Other
Application for order compelling responses to SEC investigation into fraudulent pump-and-dump scheme related to announcement of $100 million in financing obtained to fund an ICO.
Emergency injunction action to stop anregistered, fraudulent ICO purporting to be the "first [U.S.] licensed and regulated tokenized crypto currency exchange and index fund."
⭕️ = Other
Unregistered sales of securities swaps only buyable using bitcoin.
⭕️ = Other
Unregistered sales of securities in the form of a digital asset investment fund; violations of the Investment Company Act.
SEC’s first case charging unregistered broker-dealers for selling digital tokens after the SEC issued The DAO Report in 2017 cautioning that those who offer and sell digital securities must comply with the federal securities laws.
Fraudulent, unregistered ICO of TOM coins purportedly related to an oil and gas drilling venture.
Emergency injunction action to freeze $20+ million of proceeds in fraudulent ICO of BAR tokens; misrepresentations on backers and intellectual property, among others.
Emergency action to freeze $27 million in proceeds of pump-and-dump scheme based on purchase of a sham blockchain microfinance company Ziddu.com.
SEC v. Sharma, No. 1:18-cv-02909 (S.D.N.Y. 2018.04.02)
– Press Release 1, 2
Fraudulent, unregistered ICO of Center Tokens (CTR) based on misrepresentations about fictitious executives and relationships with Visa, Mastercard, and Bancorp.
⭕️ = Other
Fraudulent operation of an unregistered securities exchange (users paid in bitcoin), and unregistered sales of security investments in the exchange.
Emergency action to stop fraudulent ICO of the first "decentralized bank," including false representations about FDIC coverage, and appoint a receiver. The two officers settled, agreeing to pay ~$2.7 million in disgorgement and penalties and industry bars.
Unregistered ICO of MUN tokens that raised ~$15 million in capital; tokens would fuel ecosystem buying advertisements, writing reviews, selling food and conducting other transactions using MUN.
Fraudulent sale of PlexCoin, including promises of a 1,354% return in 29 days and misappropriation of funds.
Emergency action to halt fraudulent ICOs to fund purported conversions of fiat into digital currency backed by real estate or diamonds.