Litigation Tracker

An overview of major litigation cases in crypto. Main page includes a general list with available docket links and press releases.

WARNING: THIS SITE IS NO LONGER BEING MAINTAINED.

IT IS BEING KEPT ALIVE HERE FOR HISTORICAL/REFERENCE PURPOSES FOR THE TIME BEING.

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Although this page is frequently updated and contains what the authors believe are most of the cases involving crypto in the designated sections, new actions are frequently filed. You should always conduct your own research and, as relevant, retain your own counsel before making any legal decisions.

SEC

SEC Color Key

The below color keys indicate the theories of liability advanced by the government in various types of proceedings. The major theories (i.e., most commonly asserted) are listed, with some references to less common also listed.

πŸŸ₯ = Fraud (F)

🟦 = Market Manipulation (MM)

🟧 = Initial Coin Offering (ICO) / Unregistered Sale (US)

🟩 = Anti-Touting (AT)

πŸŸͺ = Control Person / Aiding and Abetting (CP)

🟫 = Unregistered Broker or Dealer (UBD)

🟨 = Unregistered Exchange / Clearinghouse (UEC)

  • Unregistered - Exchange - Exchange Act Β§ 5 (15 USC Β§ 78e)

  • Unregistered Clearinghouse - Exchange Act Β§ 17A(b) (15 USC Β§ 78q-1(b))

⭕️ = Other:

  • Petition to compel subpoena responses.

  • Deficiencies in attempted registration

  • Revocation of registered securities

  • Unregistered digital asset security exchange

  • Purchase/sale of security-based swaps in violation of Securities Act Β§ 5(e), and effecting transactions in those swaps outside of registered exchanges in violation of Exchange Act Β§ 6(l).

Date / TypeName / Court / Docket LinkNotes

2024.01.29 πŸŸ₯ F

🟧 US

SEC v. Lee, No. 1:24-cv-00296 (D. Md. 2024.01.29)

– Press Release

Charges against creators of "HyperFund," alleged to be a fraudulent ponzi scheme that collected over $1.7 billion from investors by promising high returns purportedly based on crypto mining operations; but the scheme had no revenue other than from investors.

2023.12.22 🟧 US

In re Barnbridge DAO, No. 3-21817 (Admin. Proc. 2023.12.22)

Action against the Barnbridge DAO itself based on the SMART Yield bonds. $1,457,000 disgorgement and disabling the product and related smart contracts.

2023.12.22 🟧 US

In re Ward, No. 3-21815 (Admin. Proc. 2023.12.22)

Action against founds of Barnbridge DAO regarding its SMART Yield bonds, which allowed investors to buy bonds with crypto and receive yield at either fixed or variable APRs. More than $509 in crypto was invested. $125,000 fine for each.

2023.11.20 🟧 US

🟨 UEC

🟫 UBD

SEC v. Payward, Inc., No. 3:23-cv-06003 (N.D. Cal. 2023.11.20) – Press Release

Shortly after settling with the SEC regarding its staking program, an enforcement action against Kraken claiming it operates as an unregistered exchange, broker, and clearing house by selling (also unregistered) crypto asset securities.

2023.09.13 🟧 US

In re Stoner Cats 2, LLC, No. 11233 (Admin Proc. 2023.09.13) – Press Release – Dissenting Statement of Commissioners Peirce and Uyeda

Second case against NFT project, this one based on the creation of a series of short animated films featuring stars like Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. The order concludes the Stoner Cats NFTs were sold as an unregistered securities offering, on the basis that the proceeds of the NFT sales would be used to develop the animated films and because there was an active secondary market in the NFTs before and after the release of the films. Settlement order required destroying all NFTs in company's possession, publishing notice of the order, and administering distribution plan for the $1 million civil penalty to harmed investors.

2023.09.07 🟧 US

In re Linus Financial, Inc., No. 3-21627 (Admin. Proc. 2023.09.07)

Settlement regarding unregistered offer/sale of interest-bearing accounts ("Linus Interest Accounts") where users could deposit fiat currency in exchange for the promise to provide periodic payments by converting the funds to USDC and using them to yield farm through DeFi liquidity pools or lending them to institutional investors.

2023.08.28 🟧 US

In re Impact Theory, LLC, No. 11226 (Admin. Proc. 2023.08.28) – Press Release – Dissenting Statement of Commissioners Peirce and Uyeda

First of its kind enforcement action based on sale of NFTs as an unregistered securities offering as an investment contract under the Howey test based on promises of β€œtremendous value” to KeyNFT purchasers, raising $29 million. Impact Theory also stated that it would use the offering proceeds for β€œdevelopment,” β€œbringing on more team,” and β€œcreating more projects.” Settled in exchange for: destruction of all KeyNFTs held by Impact Theory, removing royalties required by the smart contract, and disgorgement/penalties of over $5 million, among other remedies.

2023.08.23 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. DeSalvo, No. 1:23-cv-08092 (D.N.J. 2023.08.23) – Press Release

Fraudulent sale of β€œBlazar token” through an unregistered securities offering, an ICO, promising extraordinary investment returns, while falsely claiming that the token was registered with the SEC. DeSalvo rapidly sold his massive amount of Blazar tokens shortly after the ICO, crashing the market price of the token, and misappropriated investor funds for personal use. Related criminal action by DOJ brought simultaneously.

2023.08.21 β­• Other

In re Titan Global Capital Management USA LLC, No. 3-21569 (Admin. Proc. 2023.08.21)

Among other violations, FinTech investment adviser made misleading disclosures in violation of Advisers Act Rule 206(4)-1 by advertising 2,700% returns for its "Titan Crypto strategy." The advertised hyptothetical returns were based on the assumption the fund's performance in its first three weeks would continue for an entire year.

2023.07.31 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Schueler, No. 1:23-cv-05749 (E.D.N.Y. 2023.07.31) – Press Release

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.

2023.07.26 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US 🟫 UBD

SEC v. Digital Licensing Inc., No. 2:23-cv-00482 (D. Utah 2023.07.26) – Press Release – Sanctions Order (finding SEC lawyers had acted in bad faith and committed gross abuse of power in seeking an injunction and receiver, and ordering SEC to pay DEBT Box's attorneys' fees and costs) (2024.03.18)

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.

2023.07.21 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Quanstamp, Inc., File No. 3-21535 (Admin Proc. 2023.07.21) – Press Release

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.

2023.07.13 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Celsius Network Ltd., No. (S.D.N.Y. 2023.07.13) – Press Release

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.

2023.06.22 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Ichioka, No. 3:23-cv-03093 (N.D. Cal. 2023.06.22) – Press Release

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.

2023.06.06 🟧 US 🟨 UEC 🟫 UBD πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. Coinbase, Inc., No. 1:23-cv-04738 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.06.06) – Press Release

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.

2023.06.05 🟧 US πŸŸ₯ F 🟨 UEC 🟫 UBD πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. Binance Holdings Ltd., No. 1:23-cv-01599 (D.D.C. 2023.06.05) – Press Release

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.

2023.04.17

🟫 UBD 🟨 UEC πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. Bittrex, Inc., No. 2:23-cv-00580 (W.D. Wash. 2023.04.17) – Press Release – Settlement (2023.08.10)

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.

2023.03.29 🟧 US πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UBD πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. Beaxy Digital, Ltd., No. 1:23-cv-01962 (N.D. Ill. 2023.03.29)

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.

2023.03.22 🟧 US πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM 🟩 AT

SEC v. Sun, No. 1:23-cv-02433 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.03.22) – Press Release

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 β€” DeAndre Cortez Way (Soulja Boy) and Austin Mahone β€” to promote TRX without disclosing their compensation.

2023.03.22 🟩 AT

– In re Lindsay Dee Lohan, No. 3-21349 – In re Michele Anne Mason (a/k/a Kendra Lust), No. 3-21350 – In re Miles Parks McCollum (a/k/a Lil Yachty), No. 3-21351 – In re Jake Joseph Paul, No. 3-21347 – In re Shaffer Chimere Smith (a/k/a Ne-Yo), No. 3-21346 – In re Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam (a/k/a Akon), No. 3-21348 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2023.03.22) – Press Release

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.

2023.03.03 🟧 US πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UBD

SEC v. Green United, LLC, No. 2:23-cv-00159 (D. Utah 2023.03.03)

Fraudulent offering of unregistered securities that was purportedly a blockchain mining operation in a new token GREEN; no blockchain existed, no mining was performed.

2023.02.28 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Nishad Singh, No. 1:23-cv-01691 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.02.28) – Press Release

Fraud action against senior FTX executive for defrauding investors in FTX as well as its customers.

2023.02.23 πŸŸ₯ F ⭕️ Other

SEC v. BKCoin Management, LLC, No. 1:23-cv-20719 (S.D. Fla. 2023.02.23) – Press Release

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.

2023.02.17 🟩 AT

In re Paul Anthony Pierce, No. 3-21305 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2023.02.17) – Press Release

Settled anti-touting charges against former NBA player related to EMAX token. $1.4 million fine.

2023.02.16 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US πŸŸͺ CP ⭕️ Other

SEC v. Terraform Labs PTE Ltd., No. 1:23-cv-01346 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.02.16) – Press Release – Press Release (2023.04.13) – Ruling on Motion to Dismiss (2023.07.31)

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.

2023.02.09 🟧 US

SEC v. Payward Ventures (d/b/a Kraken), No. 3:23-cv-00588 (N.D. Cal. 2023.02.09) – Press Release – Dissenting Statement of Hester Peirce

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.

2023.01.20 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

SEC v. Eisenberg, No. 1:23-cv-00503 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.01.20) – Press Release

Fraud and market manipulation of Mango Markets and its tokens in order to steal $116 million.

2023.01.19 🟧 US

In re Nexo Capital Inc., No. 3-21281 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2023.01.19) – Press Release

Unregistered offer and sale of the Nexo Earn Interest Product, an interest-bearing crypto asset account.

2023.01.12 🟧 US

SEC v. Genesis Global Capital, LLC, No. 1:23-cv-00287 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.01.12) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of securities in the form of the Gemini Earn crypto asset lending program.

2023.01.04 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Chandran, No. 2:23-cv-10017 (E.D. Mich. 2023.01.04) – Press Release

Unregistered offering fraud of "CoinDeal," raising $45 million.

2022.12.21 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Ellison, No. 1:22-cv-10794 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.12.21) – Press Release (2022.12.21) – Press Release (2023.01.19)

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.

2022.12.14 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Da Silva, No. 1:22-cv-10534 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.12.14) – Press Release

Fraudulent pyramid scheme, Forcount Trader Systems, targeting Spanish-speaking communities promising investors returns in a fake crypto asset trading and mining operation.

2022.12.13 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Bankman-Fried, No. 1:22-cv-10501-PKC (S.D.N.Y. 2022.12.13) – Press Release (2022.12.13) – Press Release (2023.01.19)

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.

2022.11.18 ⭕️ Other

In re The Registration Statement of American CryptoFed DAO LLC, No. 3-21243 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2022.11.18) – Press Release – Order Denying Motion to Dismiss (2023.06.07) (with dissents)

Order instituting public hearings regarding alleged omissions and misstatements in attempt to register two crypto asset securities.

2022.11.03 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US 🟫 UBD

SEC v. Braga, No. 2:22-cv-01563 (W.D. Wash. 2022.11.03) – Press Release

"Trade Coin Club" ponzi scheme that raised more than 82,000 bitcoin, but diverted assets for personal purposes.

2022.11.03 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Rounsville, No. 3:22-cv-02458 (N.D. Tex. 2022.11.03) – Press Release

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.

2022.10.03 🟩 AT

In re Kimberly Kardashian, No. 3-21197 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2022.10.03) – Press Release

Anti-touting re EMAX tokens. $1.26M penalty through settlement.

2022.09.30 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Arbitrade Ltd., No. 1:22-cv-23171 (S.D. Fla. 2022.09.30) – Press Release

Pump-and-dump re DIG tokens.

2022.09.28 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM 🟧 US πŸŸͺ CP 🟫 UBD

SEC v. The Hydrogen Technology Corp., No. 1:22-cv-08284 (S.D.N.Y 2022.09.28) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered sale of Hydro tokens, market manipulation re same.

2022.09.19 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US ⭕️ Other

SEC v. Chavez, No. 4:22-cv-03359 (S.D. Tex. 2022.09.19) – Press Release

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.

2022.09.19 🟧 US

In re Sparkster, Ltd., No. 3-21103 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2022.09.19) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of SPRK tokens.

2022.09.19 🟩 AT

SEC v. Balina, No. 1:22-cv-950 (W.D. Tex. 2022.09.19)

Anti-touting re SPRK tokens. Jurisdiction based on Ethereum validator concentration in United States.

2022.09.15 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Edelman, No. 1:22-cv-07892 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.09.15)

Fraud enforcement re investment of funds in digital assets.

2022.09.14 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Chicago Crypto Capital LLC, No. 22-cv-2975 (N.D. Ill. 2022.09.14) – Press Release

Fraud enforcement re unregistered crypto asset securities offering.

2022.08.16 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Dragonchain, Inc., No. 2:22-cv-01145 (W.D. Wash. 2022.08.16) – Press Release

Unregistered offering of Dragon coin

2022.08.09 🟧 ICO

In re Bloom Protocol, LLC, No. 3-20952 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2022.08.09) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO related to an online identity attestation platform.

2022.08.01 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Okhotnikov, No. 1:22-cv-03978 (N.D. Ill. 2022.08.01) – Press Release

Ponzi/fraud enforcement against founders of Forsage.

2022.07.21 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Wahi, No. 2:22-cv-01009 (W.D. Wash. 2022.07.21) – Press Release

Insider trading charges against former Coinbase employee based on 25 tokens, 9 of which β€” AMP, RLY, DDX, XYO, RGT, LCX, POWR, DFX, KROM β€” are described as crypto asset securities.

2022.06.30 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Empires Consulting Corp., No. 1:22-cv-21995 (S.D. Fla. 2022.06.30)

Founders of EmpiresX misappropriated $40m raised from investors. Related CFTC and DOJ actions.

2022.04.28 🟧 US

SEC v. Chiang, No. 3:22-cv-0600 (TWE) (WVG) (S.D. Cal. 2022.04.28) – Press Release

NASGO sold SNP tokens as unregistered securities

2022.04.27 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Block Bits Capital, LLC, No. 3:22-cv-02563 (N.D. Cal. 2022.04.27) – Press Release

fraudulent/unregistered sale of securities; parallel criminal actions against founders

2022.04.27 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Mata, No. 3:22-cv-02565 (N.D. Cal. 2022.04.27)

(founder of Block Bits Capital)

2022.04.07 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. MCC International Corp., No. 2:22-cv-14129-KMM (S.D. Fla. 2022.04.07) – Press Release

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.

2022.03.08 🟧 ICO / US

SEC v. Barksdale, No. 22-cv-1933 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.03.08) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO re Ormeus token

2022.02.14 🟧 US

In re BlockFi Lending, LLC, No. 3-20758 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2022.02.14) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of crypto lending product. $100M fine split between SEC and 32 states.

2022.01.18 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Garcia, No. 1:22-cv-00118 (D. Colo. 2022.01.18) – Press Release

Fraudulent sale of investment in Gold Hawgs Development Corp. for development of new cryptocurrency. Funds instead diverted for personal purposes.

2022.01.06 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Crowd Machine, Inc., No. 5:22-cv-0076 (N.D. Cal. 2022.01.06) – Press Release

Fraudulent use of ICO sales of CMCT token.

2021.12.02 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO / US

SEC v. Auzins, No. 1:21-cv-6693 (E.D.N.Y. 2021.12.02) – Press Release

Unregistered and fraudulent ICOs re Denaro and Innovamine.

2021.11.18 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Ginster, No. 5:21-cv-01957 (C.D. Cal. 2021.11.18) – Press Release

Unregistered and fraudulent securities offering based on purported "cryptocurrency trading and advertising arbitrage." Ginster used funds for personal expenses.

2021.11.12 ⭕️ Other

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.

2021.11.10 ⭕️ Other

In re American CryptoFed DAO LLC, No. 3-20650 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.11.10)

Admin procedure re material deficiencies in attempted registration of crypto asset securities, Ducat token and Locke token.

2021.09.13 🟧 US

In re GTV Media Group Inc., No. 3-20537 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.09.13) – Press Release

Settlement regarding unregistered sale of both stock and tokens; GTV and individual executives to pay total fines/penalties/interest of $523.6 million.

2021.09.08 🟧 ICO / US

SEC v. Rivetz Corp., No. 3:21-cv-30092 (D. Mass. 2021.09.08) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of crypto asset security RvT token through pre-sale and ICO. Detailed allegations re why RvT was a security.

2021.09.01 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US 🟫 UBD

SEC v. BitConnect, No. 1:21-cv-07349 (S.D.N.Y. 2021.09.01) – Press Release

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.)

2021.08.09 ⭕️ Other

In re Poloniex, LLC, No. 3-20455, Release No. 92607 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.08.09) – Press Release

Unregistered digital asset security exchange; settlement totaled $10.3 million, including disgorgement, interest, and fine.

2021.08.06 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

In re Blockchain Credit Partners, No. 3-20453, Release Nos. 10961, 92588 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.08.06) – Press Release

Unregistered and fraudulent offering of securities through DeFi Money Market. Assets claimed to be backing interest earning tokens were never acquired by DMM.

2021.08.04 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

In re Uulala, Inc., No. 5:21-cv-01307 (C.D. Cal. 2021.08.04) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO of UULA tokens that included fraudulent representations about underlying payments technology.

2021.07.14 🟩 AT

In re Blotics, No. 3-20398 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.07.14) – Press Release

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.

2021.07.09 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Watson, No. 1:21-cv-05923 (S.D.N.Y. 2021.07.09)

Insider trading charges based on disclosure of publicly traded Long Island Iced Tea Co.'s plans to change its name to Long Blockchain Corp.

2021.06.22 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

In re Loci, Inc., No. 3-20369 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.06.22) – Press Release

Fraudulent ICO of LOCIcoin based on misrepresentations about Loci's business.

2021.06.15 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Hamid, No. 2:21-cv-12542 (D.N.J. 2021.06.15) – Press Release

Additional action re fraudulent ICO of BCT Tokens, purportedly to develop tech for hedge funds, against additional participants.

2021.06.11 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Radjabli, No. 2:21-cv-01761 (D.S.C. 2021.06.11) – Press Release

Many frauds, including an offering of Apis Tokens, purportedly representing tokenized interests in Apis Capital's main investment fund.

2021.05.28 🟧 US 🟫 UBD

SEC v. Brown, No. 1:21-cv-04791-JGK (S.D.N.Y. 2021.05.28) – Press Release

(BitConnect promoters, see above at 2021.09.01)

2021.03.29 🟧 US

SEC v. LBRY, Inc., No. 1:21-cv-00260 (D.N.H. 2021.03.29) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of LBRY tokens. Court granted MSJ in SEC's favor concluding tokens were securities on Nov. 7, 2022. (Opinion on CaseText, CourtListener)

2021.03.05 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Cutting, No. 2:21-cv-00103-BLW (D. Idaho 2021.03.05) – Press Release

Fraudulent fundraising purportedly to invest in digital assets, instead misappropriating assets.

2021.02.19 ⭕️ Other

In re Long Blockchain Corp., No. 3-20228 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.02.19)

Revocation of company's securities for failure to file quarterly and annual reports.

2021.02.17 🟧 US

SEC v. Coinseed, No. 1:21-cv-01381 (S.D.N.Y. 2021.02.17) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of CSD tokens.

2021.02.01 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US 🟫 UBD

SEC v. Krstic, No. 1:21-cv-00529 (E.D.N.Y. 2021.02.01) – Press Release

Fraudulent ICO of B2G tokens, misappropriating millions of retail investor funds.

2021.01.15 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

In re Wireline, Inc., No. 3-20206 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2021.01.15) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered sale of SAFTs regarding tokens that were never released for a platform that never launched.

2020.12.23 🟧 US

In re Tierion, Inc., No. 3-20188 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.12.23) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of TNT coins for the Tierion Network for blockchain receipts.

2020.12.22 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Qin, No. 1:20-cv-10849-LGS (S.D.N.Y. 2020.12.22) – Press Release

Ponzi scheme by purported algorithmic cryptocurrency arbitrage investment platform.

2020.12.22 🟧 US

SEC v. Ripple Labs, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-10832-AT-SN (S.D.N.Y. 2020.12.22) – Press Release – Ruling on MSJ (2023.07.13)

Unregistered sale of XRP tokens from 2013 through the present.

2020.12.21 🟧 ICO

In re ShipChain, Inc., No. 3-20185 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.12.21)

Unregistered ICO of SHIP tokens to develop a blockchain platform related to shipping and logistics.

2020.12.09 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Elmaani, No. 1:20-cv-10376 (S.D.N.Y. 2020.12.09) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of Pearl tokens in connection with Oyster Protocol, while also covertly minting a secret supply that Elmaani sold into the market.

2020.10.05 🟩 AT πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. McAfee, No. 1:20-cv-08281 (S.D.N.Y. 2020.10.05) – Press Release – Settled as to defendant Jimmy Gale Watson on July 14, 2022.

Fraudulently touting 7 (unidentified) ICOs without disclosing promotional status, and also fraudulently scalping holdings from the same ICOs.

2020.09.30 🟧 ICO

In re Salt Blockchain Inc., No. 3-20106 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.09.30) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO of Salt Tokens to develop a dollar-denominated loan business secured by blockchain assets.

2020.09.25 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

In re SoluTech, Inc., No. 3-20071 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.09.25) – Press Release

Fraudulent ICO of SCRL digital assets to fund blockchain-based platform called the Scroll Network, misrepresenting current revenues and SoluTech product capabilities.

2020.09.15 🟧 ICO

In re Unikrn, Inc., No. 3-20003 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.09.15) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO of UnikoinGold token to enhance features on a gaming platform and secondary trading market. $6.1 million disgorgement.

2020.09.10 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO 🟦 MM

SEC v. FLiK, No. 1:20-cv-03739 (N.D. Ga. 2020.09.10) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered ICO. Funds were misappropriated to purchase luxury goods and real estate for personal use.

2020.08.18 🟫 UBD

SEC v. Millan, No. 1:20-cv-06575 (S.D.N.Y. 2020.08.18) – Press Release

Unregistered broker-dealing in AirBit, a pyramid scheme to purportedly achieve high returns through algorithmic digital asset day-trading by robots.

2020.08.13 🟧 ICO

In re Kelvin Boon, LLC, No. 3-19913 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.08.13) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO of Boon Coins to develop a software platform to connect employers with freelancers.

2020.07.13 ⭕️ Other

In re Plutus Financial Inc., No. 3-19873 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.07.13)

Sale of securities-based swaps to ineligible participants, in violation of Securities Act Β§ 5(e), and effecting transactions in those swaps outside of registered exchanges in violation of Exchange Act Β§ 6(l).

2020.06.25 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. NAC Foundation, LLC, No. 3:20-cv-04188 (N.D. Cal. 2020.06.25) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered ICO of "AML BitCoin," a purportedly compliant-focused token, when it had not developed this technology; founders misappropriated funds for personal use.

2020.06.25 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Abramoff, No. 3:20-cv-04190 (N.D. Cal. 2020.06.25) - Related admin. proceeding.

Personal action against promoter of NAC Foundation, LLC's scheme, above.

2020.06.16 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Hvizdzak Capital Management, LLC, No. 1:20-cv-00154 (W.D. Pa. 2020.06.16) – Press Release

Fraudulent offering of securities in crypto investment fund by misrepresenting fund performance, forging financial statements and audit documents.

2020.05.28 🟧 ICO

In re BitClave PTE Ltd., No. 3-19816 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.05.28) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO of CAT tokens to fund blockchain-based search platform for targeted consumer advertising.

2020.05.07 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Putnam, No. 2:20-cv-00301 (D. Utah 2020.05.07) – Press Release

Fraudulent offering of securities in purported crypto mining operation, crypto trading packages, and misappropriation of funds.

2020.04.23 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Dropil Inc., No. 8:20-cv-00793 (C.D. Cal. 2020.04.23) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered sales of DROP tokens. None of the promoted, underlying technology ever existed. Founders took funds for personal use.

2020.03.16 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Meta 1 Coin Trust, No. 1:20-cv-00273 (W.D. Tex. 2020.03.16) – Press Release

Injunction to stop promoters of fraudulent ICO in Meta 1 Coin, which was backed by nothing.

2020.02.27 🟩 AT

In re Seagal, No. 3-19712 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.02.27) – Press Release

Anti-touting action against actor Steven Seagal re B2G coin ICO.

2020.02.19 🟧 ICO

In re Enigma MPC, No. 3-19702 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2020.02.19) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO of the ENG Tokens promising to use funds to develop a digital asset trade-testing platform and crypto data marketplace.

2020.02.11 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Ackerman, No. 1:20-cv-01181 (S.D.N.Y. 2020.02.11) – Press Release

Fraudulent offering of pooled investment in cryptocurrencies, run as a Ponzi scheme.

2020.01.21 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Grybniak, No. 1:20-cv-00327 (E.D.N.Y. 2020.01.21) – Press Release

Fraudulent ICO of OPP Tokens through misrepresentations about the business and tech, targeting small businesses.

2020.01.17 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Manor, No. 2:20-cv-00597-SRC-CLW (D.N.J. 2020.01.17) – Press Release

Fraudulent ICO of BCT Tokens, purportedly to develop tech for hedge funds.

2019.12.18 🟧 US

In re Blockchain of Things, Inc., No. 3-19621 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.12.18) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of BCOT tokens.

2019.12.11 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Eyal, No. 1:19-cv-11325 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.12.11) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered offering of Shopin tokens for purported creation of blockchain-based "universal shopper profile."

2019.10.31 ⭕️ Other 🟫 UBD

In re XBT Corp Sarl, No. 3-19592 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.31)

Unregistered purchase and sale of security-based swaps, including purchases made with bitcoin, in violation of Securities Act Β§ 5(e), and effecting transactions in those swaps outside of registered exchanges in violation of Exchange Act Β§ 6(l).

2019.10.11 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Telegram Group, Inc., No. 1:19-cv-09439 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.10.11) – Press Release – Preliminary Injunction granted at SEC v. Telegram Group, Inc., 448 F. Supp. 3d 352 (S.D.N.Y. 2020).

Preliminary injunction to prevent $1.7 billion token distribution. Settled for $1.2 billion return to investors and $18.5 million civil penalty.

2019.09.30 🟧 US

In re Nebulous, Inc., No. 3-19569 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.09.30)

Unregistered sale of "Siastock" and "SiaNotes" to support development of a decentralized cloud data storage technology.

2019.09.30 🟧 ICO

In re Block.one, No. 3-19568 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.09.30) – Press Release

Unregistered ICO to support development of EOSIO software, an operating system designed to support public or private blockchains. $24M penalty.

2019.09.20 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Lucas, No. 1:19-cv-08771 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.09.20) – Press Release

Fraudulent ICO of FM tokens, purportedly for an adult entertainment "fantasy marketplace."

2019.09.18 🟧 ICO 🟫 UBD

SEC v. ICOBox, No. 2:19-cv-08066 (C.D. Cal. 2019.09.18) – Press Release

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.

2019.08.29 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Bitqyck, Inc., No. 3:19-cv-02059 (N.D. Tex. 2019.08.29) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered offering of Bitqy and BitqyM tokens.

2019.08.20 🟩 AT

In re ICO Rating, No. 3-19366 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.08.20) – Press Release

ICO Rating purported to provide neutral evaluations of ICOs but in fact received, but failed to disclose, compensation as a promoter.

2019.08.12 🟧 US

In re SimplyVital Health, Inc., No. 3-19332 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.08.12) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of securities to support development of Health Nexus, a blockchain protocol through which healthcare providers could share patient data.

2019.08.12 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Middleton, No. 1:19-cv-04625-WFK-RER (E.D.N.Y. 2019.08.12) – Press Release

Emergency injunction action to stop dissipation of proceeds of fraudulent ICO of VERI Tokens. Court granted the injunction and the case settled.

2019.06.05 πŸŸ₯ F

SEC v. Longfin Corp., No. 1:19-cv-05296 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.06.05) – Press Release

Fraudulent pump-and-dump scheme effected by announcing acquisition of a sham cryptocurrency company, Ziddu.com.

2019.06.04 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Kik Interactive Inc., No. 1:19-cv-05244 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.06.04) – Press Release – Summary judgment granted at SEC v. Kik Interactive Inc., 492 F. Supp. 3d 169 (S.D.N.Y. 2020)

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.

2019.05.22 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Pacheco, No. 5:19-cv-00958-MWF-AFM (C.D. Cal. 2019.05.22) – Press Release

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.

2019.05.14 πŸŸ₯ F

In re NextBlock Global Ltd., No. 3-19164 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.05.14) – Press Release

Fraudulent sale of convertible debentures in crypto investment company; misrepresentations about advisors to the company.

2019.05.13 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Natural Diamonds Investment Co., No. 9:19-cv-80633 (S.D. Fla. 2019.05.13) – Press Release

Among other frauds, fraudulent, unregistered offering of Argyle Coin, a cryptocurrency purportedly backed by fancy diamonds.

2019.04.29 ⭕️ Other

In re Bitcoin Generation, Inc., Release No. 85739 (Exchange Act 2019.04.29)

Trading halted in BTGN based on concerns about accuracy and adequacy of disclosures.

2019.04.01 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

In re Mutual Coin Fund LLC, No. 3-19127 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.04.01) –

Unregistered sale of digital asset investment fund, including misrepresentations about the amount of money raised and the size of other investors' positions.

2019.02.20 🟧 ICO

In re Gladius Network LLC, No. 3-19004 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2019.02.20) – Press Release

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.

2018.12.07 🟧 US

In re CoinAlpha Advisors LLC, No. 3-18913 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.12.07)

Unregistered sale of investment fund focused on digital assets.

2018.11.29 🟩 AT

In re Floyd Mayweather, Jr., No. 3-18906 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.11.29) – Press Release

Undisclosed payments received in exchange for promoting ICOs.

2018.11.29 🟩 AT

In re Khaled Khaled (DJ Khaled), No. 3-18907 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.11.29) – Press Release

Undisclosed payments received in exchange for promoting ICOs.

2018.11.16 🟧 ICO

In re Paragon Coin, Inc., No. 3-18897 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.11.16) – Press Release

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.

2018.11.16 🟧 ICO

In re CarrierEQ, Inc., No. 3-18898 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.11.16) – Press Release

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.

2018.11.08 ⭕️ = Other

In re Zachary Coburn, No. 3-18888 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.11.08) – Press Release

Enforcement against creator of EtherDelta, a ERC20 and ETH exchange, for failing to register the exchange. $300k disgorgement, $75k penalty.

2018.10.05 πŸŸ₯ F ⭕️ = Other

SEC v. Saint James Holding and Investment Company Trust, No. 2:18-mc-00135-SJO-AS (C.D. Cal. 2018.10.05)

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.

2018.10.03 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Blockvest, LLC, No. 3:18-cv-02287 (S.D. Cal. 2018.10.03) – Press Release

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."

2018.09.27 🟫 UBD ⭕️ = Other

SEC v. 1Pool Ltd., No. 1:18-cv-02244 (D.D.C. 2018.09.27) – Press Release

Unregistered sales of securities swaps only buyable using bitcoin.

2018.09.11 🟧 ICO ⭕️ = Other

In re Crypto Asset Management, LP, No. 3-18740 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.09.11) – Press Release

Unregistered sales of securities in the form of a digital asset investment fund; violations of the Investment Company Act.

2018.09.11 🟫 UBD 🟧 US

In re TokenLot, LLC, No. 3-18739 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.09.11) – Press Release

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.

2018.08.14 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

In re Tomahawk Exploration, LLC, No. 3-18641 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2018.08.14) – Press Release

Fraudulent, unregistered ICO of TOM coins purportedly related to an oil and gas drilling venture.

2018.05.22 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

SEC v. Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Servs. Inc., No. 2:18-cv-04315 (C.D. Cal. 2018.05.22) – Press Release

Emergency injunction action to freeze $20+ million of proceeds in fraudulent ICO of BAR tokens; misrepresentations on backers and intellectual property, among others.

2018.04.04 ⭕️ = Other

SEC. v. Longfin Corp., No. 1:18-cv-02977-DLC (S.D.N.Y. 2018.04.04) – Press Release 1, 2

Emergency action to freeze $27 million in proceeds of pump-and-dump scheme based on purchase of a sham blockchain microfinance company Ziddu.com.

2018.04.02 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO

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.

2018.02.21 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US πŸŸͺ CP ⭕️ = Other

SEC v. Montroll, No. 1:18-cv-01582 (S.D.N.Y. 2018.02.21) – Press Release

Fraudulent operation of an unregistered securities exchange (users paid in bitcoin), and unregistered sales of security investments in the exchange.

2018.01.25 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. AriseBank, No. 3:18-cv-00186 (N.D. Tex. 2018.01.25) – Press Release

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.

2017.12.11 🟧 ICO

In re Munchee Inc., No. 3-18304 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2017.12.11) – Press Release

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.

2017.12.01 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. Plexcorps, No. 1:17-cv-07007 (E.D.N.Y. 2017.12.01) – Press Release

Fraudulent sale of PlexCoin, including promises of a 1,354% return in 29 days and misappropriation of funds.

2017.09.29 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 ICO πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. Recoin Group Foundation, LLC, No. 1:17-cv-05725 (E.D.N.Y. 2017.09.29) – Press Release

Emergency action to halt fraudulent ICOs to fund purported conversions of fiat into digital currency backed by real estate or diamonds.

2017.07.25 🟧 US

Report of Investigation Into The DAO, Exch. Act Release No. 81207 (SEC 2017.07.25) – Press Release – Statement by Divisions of Corporation Finance and Enforcement

Report concerning the application of the U.S. federal securities laws to the offer and sale of DAO Tokens, which were virtual tokens created and distributed on a blockchain by an entity called β€œThe DAO.” No enforcement action taken but multiple warnings issued to industry participants.

2017.06.30 πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UBD πŸŸͺ CP

SEC v. Haddow, No. 1:17-cv-04950 (S.D.N.Y. 2017.06.30) – Press Release

Fraudulent sales of securities by an unregistered broker dealer, promising secure trading in bitcoin, but instead diverting 80%+ of funds raised.

2016.07.11 ⭕️ = Other

In re Bitcoin Investment Trust, No. 3-17335 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2016.07.11)

Violations of Regulation M of the Exchange Act in connection with purchases and redemptions of shares of Bitcoin Investment Trust (BIT).

2015.12.01 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Garza, No. 3:15-cv-01760 (D. Conn. 2015.12.01) – Press Release

Fraudulent sales of "Hashlets" securities that promised proceeds of bitcoin mining operation. Settled with nearly $10 million disgorgement.

2015.06.17 ⭕️ = Other

In re Sand Hill Exchange, No. 3-16598 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2015.06.17) – Press Release

Unregistered securities swaps where accounts could be funded by dollars or bitcoins.

2014.12.08 🟫 UBD ⭕️ = Other

In re BTC Trading, Corp, No. 3-16307 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2014.12.08) – Press Release

Unregistered securities exchanges / broker dealers that operated by receiving client funds through bitcoin and litecoin.

2014.06.03 🟧 US

In re Voorhees, No. 3-15902 (SEC Admin. Proc. 2014.06.03) – Press Release

Unregistered sale of shares in two companies, SatoshiDICE and FeedZeBirds, which were sold in exchange for bitcoin. $50k combined disgorgement and penalty.

2013.07.23 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 US

SEC v. Shavers, No. 4:13-cv-00416 (E.D. Tex. 2013.07.23) – Press Release

Bitcoin-denominated Ponzi scheme, raising more than 700,000 bitcoins in principal investments from BTCST investors, and falsely promising of up to 7% weekly returns based on BTCST’s purported bitcoin market arbitrage activity.

CFTC

CFTC Color Key

The below color keys indicate the theories of liability advanced by the government in various types of proceedings. The major theories (i.e., most commonly asserted) are listed, with some references to less common also listed.

πŸŸ₯ = Fraud (F)

🟦 = Market Manipulation (MM)

🟧 = KYC/CIP/AML Failures (KYC) –

🟩 = Off-Exchange Transactions (OET)

  • Illegal off-exchange retail swaps, CEA Β§ 2(e) (7 USC Β§ 2(e))

  • Conducting off-exchange futures transactions with non-eligible contract participants or eligible commercial entities, CEA Β§ 4(a) (7 USC Β§ 6(a))

  • Illegal off-exchange commodity options, CEA Β§ 4c(b) and Regulation 32.2 (7 USC Β§ 6c(b), 17 CFR Β§ 32.2)

πŸŸͺ = Control Person / Aiding and Abetting (CP)

  • Failing to act in good faith or knowingly inducing acts constituting violations of the Act, CEA Β§ 13(b) (7 U.S.C. Β§ 13(b))

🟫 = Unregistered (UR)

⭕️ = Other

DateName / Court / Docket LinkNotes

2023.09.29 πŸŸ₯ F

CFTC v. Patreanu, No. 2:23-cv-20782 (D.N.J. 2023.09.29) – Press Release

Action against four international individuals fraudulently soliciting, under a variety of trade names, including most prominently Cryptobravos, duping investors to send money that the charged individuals would purportedly use to trade bitcoin and other digital assets, generate risk-free returns for its customers, on the premise that customers could withdraw their funds at any time. The representations were a fraud.

2023.09.26 πŸŸ₯ F

CFTC v. Mosaic Exchange Ltd., No. 9:23-cv-81320-AMC (S.D. Fla. 2023.09.26) – Press Release – Statement of Commissioner Johnson

Fraudulent solicitation of cash and bitcoin from investors on promises of outsize returns through purportedly novel trading methods. The whole operation was a sham.

2023.07.13 πŸŸ₯ F πŸŸͺ CP 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Celsius Network, LLC, No. 1:23-cv-06008 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.07.13)

Parallel enforcement action with SEC, DOJ, and FTC. Celsius along with former CEO Alexander Mashinsky, charged with fraud and failure to register as a commodity pool operator in connection with the company's crypto token, CEL.

2023.06.22 πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Ichioka, No. 3:23-cv-03095 (N.D. Cal. 2023.06.22) – Press Release

Parallel enforcement action with DOJ and SEC. Fraud and unregistered commodity pool operator 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.

2023.04.11 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Russell, No. 1:23-cv-02691 (E.D.N.Y. 2023.04.11)

Solicitation of retail investors to contribute bitcoin, ether, and dollars in digital assets trading fund, guaranteeing no losses to investors and, in some instances, a minimum 25% return on investment. Misappropriation of $1 million of investor funds.

2023.03.27 🟩 OET πŸŸ₯ F πŸŸͺ CP 🟫 UR 🟧 KYC ⭕️ Other

CFTC v. Zhao, Binance Holdings Ltd., No. 1:23-cv-01887 (N.D. Ill. 2023.03.27) – Press Release

Action against founder of Binance, its chief compliance officer, and Binance itself for conducting off-exchange futures transactions, failing to register, inadequate KYC/AML program, and evading US regulations.

2023.02.28 πŸŸ₯ F

CFTC v. Singh, No. 1:23-cv-01684 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.02.28) – Press Release

Complaint and consent order against senior FTX executive for committing and aiding in fraud that led to the exchange's downfall.

2023.02.15 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Temurian, No. 1:23-cv-01235 (E.D.N.Y. 2023.02.15) – Press Release

Fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of customer digital assets, including bitcoin and ether.

2023.01.09 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Eisenberg, No. 1:23-cv-00173 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.01.09) – Press Release

Market manipulation of Mango Markets and its tokens.

2022.12.13 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Bankman-Fried, No. 1:22-cv-10503 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.12.13) – Press Release

Fraud by FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried against purchasers of digital commodities, causing over $8 billion in losses, and misappropriation of customer funds.

2022.11.03 🟦 MM

In re Jeremy Rounsville, No. 23-02 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2022.11.03)

Solicitation of funds in digital assets based on fraudulent misrepresentations about Rounsville's position and access to a 'highly advanced arbitrage bot.'

2022.09.30 🟫 UR 🟦 MM 🟧 KYC

CFTC v. Todd, No. 1:22-cv-23174 (S.D. Fla. 2022.09.30) – Press Release – Statement of Kristin N. Johnson – Press Release (2023.07.12 - default judgment)

Action against Digitex exchange and its founder for operating an unregistered futures exchange and failing to register as an FCM, KYC failures, and manipulation of the price of DGTX. Over $15 million in disgorgement and penalties ordered in default judgment.

2022.09.22 🟩 OET 🟫 UR 🟧 KYC

CFTC v. Ooki DAO, No. 3:22-cv-5416 (N.D. Cal. 2022.09.22) – Press Release In re bZeroX, LLC, No. 22-31 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2022.09.22) – Dissenting Statement of Summer K. Mersinger

First impression case against a DAO. Significant issues regarding service and liability of DAO members. Substantively, the Ooki DAO offered off-exchange transactions without registering as a DCM or FCM and failing to implement KYC procedures.

2022.08.11 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Giri, No. 2:22-cv-03091 (S.D. Ohio 2022.08.11) – Press Release – Statement of Kristin N. Johnson

Fraudulent scheme soliciting $12 million and 10 bitcoin to invest in a digital asset trading fund. Funds misappropriated for luxury lifestyle purchases.

2022.06.30 πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Mirror Trading Int'l Proprietary Ltd., No. 1:22-cv-00635 (W.D. Tex. 2022.06.30) – Press Release

Unregistered, fraudulent commodity pool operator defrauded US investors of $1.7B worth of bitcoin.

2022.06.30 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Pires, No. 1:22-cv-21997 (S.D. Fla. 2022.06.30) – Press Release

Fraudulent solicitation and pooling of $41.6 million d/b/a EmpiresX, misappropriation of funds. Failure to register as a CPO / associated person of a CPO.

2022.06.02 πŸŸ₯ F

CFTC v. Gemini Trust Co., LLC, No. 1:22-cv-04563 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.06.02) – Press Release

False or misleading statements of material facts or omitting to state material facts in connection with the self-certification of a bitcoin futures product.

2022.05.10 πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UR 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Ikkurty, No. 1:22-cv-02465 (N.D. Ill. 2022.05.10) – Press Release

Fraudulent solicitation of $44 million for participation interests in a fund invested in digital assets.

2022.01.03 🟩 OET 🟫 UR

In re Blockratize, Inc. d/b/a Polymarket.com, No. 22-09 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2022.01.03) – Press Release

Unregistered, off-exchange marketplace for the online trading of event-based binary options contracts (known as "event markets"); failure to register as a SEF / DCM.

2021.10.15 🟦 MM

In re Tether Holdings Ltd., No. 22-04 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2021.10.15) – Press Release – Concurring Statement of Dawn D. Stump

False or misleading statements regarding the reserves held by Tether, including the entity holding such reserves and what types of assets they were.

2021.10.15 🟩 OET 🟫 UR

In re iFinex Inc. d/b/a Bitfinex, No. 22-05 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2021.10.15) – Press Release – Concurring Statement of Dawn D. Stump

Failure to register as an FCM while also conducting off-exchange futures transactions in digital assets including bitcoin, ether, and tether tokens with non-ECPs or eligible commercial entities.

2021.09.30 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Inyangudo, No. 1:21-cv-11615 (D. Mass. 2021.09.30) – Press Release

Fraudulent solicitation and appropriation of $1.2 million through Primefx.org for purported trading in foreign currency and bitcoin.

2021.09.29 🟫 UR 🟦 MM

In re ... – TradingForexPay, No. 21-32 – Cryptofxtrader, No. 21-23 – Bitfxprofit, No. 21-22 – Globalnationfx, No. 21-25 – BinanceFxTrade, No. 21-21 – MaxForexOption, No. 21-26 – ProCryptoMinners, No. 21-28 – ProFx-Capitals, No. 21-29 – Smarter Signals, No. 21-30 – Prime Expert Trade, No. 21-27 – Star Fx Pro, No. 21-31 – Excotradeoptions, No. 21-24 – Climax Capital FX, No. 21-33 – Digitalexchange24.com, No. 21-34 – Press Release

Coordinated administrative enforcement actions against 14 entities for either failing to register as futures commission merchants (FCMs) or else making false and misleading claims of having CFTC registration and National Futures Association (NFA) membership.

2021.09.28 🟩 OET 🟫 UR

In re Payward Ventures, Inc. (d/b/a Kraken), No. 21-20 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2021.09.28) – Press Release – Concurring Statement of Dawn D. Stump

Offering off-exchange retail commodity transactions (specifically, margined transactions) with U.S. customers who were not eligible contract pariticpants or eligible commercial entities, and failing to register as a futures commission merchant (FCM).

2021.09.28 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Tinoco, No. 3:21-cv-00237-DCG (W.D. Tex. 2021.09.28) – Press Release (2022.03.29)

Fraudulent solicitation of $7.2 million for crypto and foreign exchange investment fund.

2021.04.19 🟦 MM

In re J Squared Invest LLC, No. 21-06 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2021.04.19) – Press Release

Making misleading statements or omitting material facts in connection with soliciting more than $300,000 from over 40 individuals to invest in digital assets.

2021.03.05 🟦 MM

CFTC v. McAfee, No. 1:21-cv-01919 (S.D.N.Y. 2021.03.05) – Press Release (2021.03.05) – Press Release (2022.07.18)

Pump-and-dump scheme involving verge, reddcoin, and dogecoin.

2021.01.26 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Spence, No. 1:21-cv-00699 (S.D.N.Y. 2021.01.26) – Press Release

Ponzi scheme involving bitcoin and ether, $5 million.

2020.10.01 🟩 OET 🟧 KYC 🟫 UR

CFTC v. HDR Global Trading Ltd., No. 1:20-cv-08132 (S.D.N.Y. 2020.10.01) – Press Release (2020.10.01) – Press Release (2021.08.10) – Concurring Statement of Dan M. Berkovitz (2021.08.10)

Action against owners of BitMEX, a crypto derivatives platform for BitMEX's actions in: illegally offering leveraged retail futures, options, and swap; failing to register as an FCM; failing to register as a swap execution facility (SEF) or designated contract market (DCM). $100 million civil monetary penalty by consent order.

2020.09.24 🟩 OET 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Laino Group Ltd. d/b/a PaxForex, No. 4:20-cv-03317 (S.D. Tex. 2020.09.24) – Press Release (2020.09.28) – Press Release (2021.07.09)

Engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin, with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis and acting as a futures commission merchant (FCM) without registration. Default judgment entered.

2020.09.11 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Garcia, No. 4:20-cv-03185 (S.D. Tex. 2020.09.14) – Press Release (2020.09.14) – Press Release (2021.08.10)

Fraudulent solicitation of funds from customers to speculate in bitcoin price movements. Settled by $1.75 million consent order.

2020.08.28 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Jali, No. 8:20-cv-02492-GJH (D. Md. 2020.08.28) – Press Release

Fraud and failure to register as a commodity pool operator, raised $28 million to trade forex and bitcoin. Misappropriated funds.

2020.07.13 🟩 OET 🟫 UR

In re Plutus Financial, Inc. d/b/a Abra, No. 20-23 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2020.07.13) – Press Release – Supporting Statement of Dan M. Berkovitz

Entering into off-exchange swaps with U.S. and overseas customers and failing to register as a futures commission merchant (FCM).

2020.05.05 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Fingerhut, No. 1:20-cv-21887 (S.D. Fla. 2020.05.05) – Press Release (2020.05.07) – Press Release (2021.11.17)

Fraudulent solicitation of tens of millions of customers to open and fund off-exchange binary options and digital assets trading accounts.

2020.04.16 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Fintech Investment Group, Inc., No. 6:20-cv-00652 (M.D. Fla. 2020.04.16) – Press Release

Fraudulent solicitation of $1.6 million to purchase Compcoin through a leveraged or margined forex scheme.

2020.02.14 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Venture Capital Investments Ltd., No. 1:20-cv-00382 (D. Colo. 2020.02.14) – Press Release (2020.11.04) – Press Release (2020.02.14)

Fraudulent, unregistered commodity pool of digital assets. Final judgment of $450,000 restitution and $450,000 civil penalty.

2020.02.11 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Ackerman, No. 1:20-cv-01183 (S.D.N.Y. 2020.02.11) – Press Release – Press Release (2023.06.28 - default judgment)

Fraudulently soliciting over $33 million to purportedly trade digital assets and misappropriating a substantial portion of that total.

2019.10.31 🟫 UR

In re XBT Corp. SARL d/b/a First Global Credit, No. 20-04 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2019.10.31) – Press Release

While running firstglobalcredit.com and claiming to provide "mainstream market access" for digital currency traders, accepted purchase/sale orders for commidity futures and accepted bitcoin to margin customer trades without registering as an FCM.

2019.09.30 πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UR ⭕️ Other

CFTC v. Saffron, No. 2:19-cv-01697-JAD-DJA (D. Nev. 2019.09.30) – Press Release (2021.04.08) – Press Release (2019.10.16)

Fraudulent solicitation of $11 million worth of bitcoin to trade in foreign currency and other digital assets. Funds misappropriated. Final judgment orders $14 million restitution, $15 million disgorgement, and $1.4 million civil penalty.

2019.09.30 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Thompson, No. 1:19-cv-09052 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.09.30) – Press Release (2020.10.02) – Press Release (2019.09.30)

Fraud in connection with the purported purchase of bitcoin worth over $7 million. Consent judgment for restitution of $7.4 million.

2019.06.17 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Control-Finance Ltd., No. 1:19-cv-05631 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.06.17) – Press Release (2021.03.26) – Press Release (2019.06.18)

Fraudulent scheme to solicit bitcoin from members of the public and misappropriated customers’ bitcoin. Default judgment orders $143 million restitution and $429 million civil penalty.

2018.10.29 🟦 MM

In re Kim, No. 19-02 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2018.10.29) – Press Release

Fraudulent misappropriation from Kim's employer of Litecoin and Bitcoin, followed by fraudulent solicitation of funds from individuals. $1.1 million restitution ordered.

2018.09.28 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Doe 1, No. 4:18-cv-00807-O (N.D. Tex. 2018.09.28) – Press Release

Forex fraud and fraud by a commodity pool operator, using deceptive scheme to solicit bitcoin from the public to invest in leveraged trading products like foreign currency contracts, binary options, and diamonds.

2018.09.27 🟩 OET 🟫 UR 🟧 KYC

CFTC v. 1Pool Ltd., No. 1:18-cv-02243 (D.D.C. 2018.09.27) – Press Release

Offering retail commodity transactions, failing to register as an FCM, and accepting bitcoin to margin trades.

2018.04.16 🟩 OET 🟫 UR πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Kantor, No. 2:18-cv-02247-SJF-ARL (E.D.N.Y. 2018.04.16) – Press Release

Fraudulent, off-exchange, unregistered trading of binary options, misappropriating customer funds and offering them instead "ATM Coin," a bogus virtual currency.

2018.01.18 πŸŸ₯ F 🟫 UR

CFTC v. Dean, No. 2:18-cv-00345-SJF-AYS (E.D.N.Y. 2018.01.18) – Press Release

Fraudulent solicitation of bitcoin in an investment pool for binary options; misappropriated funds; failure to register a CPO. Default judgment orders over $432,000 in restitution and $1.5 million civil penalty.

2018.01.18 🟦 MM

CFTC v. McDonnell, No. 1:18-cv-00361 (E.D.N.Y. 2018.01.18) – Press Release (2018.08.24) – Press Release (2018.03.06) – Press Release (2018.01.19) – Holding on virtual currencies as commodities at CFTC v. McDonnell, 287 F. Supp. 3d 213, 228–30 (E.D.N.Y. 2018)

Fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of bitcoin and litecoin to purportedly provide "real-time virtual currency trading advice" and actual trading. CFTC won at trial, after also winning a ruling that virtual currencies are commodities subject to CFTC authority.

2018.01.16 🟦 MM

CFTC v. My Big Coin Pay, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-10077 (D. Mass. 2018.01.16) – Press Release – Holding on virtual currencies as commodities at CFTC v. My Big Coin Pay, Inc., 334 F. Supp. 3d 492 (D. Mass 2018)

Fraudulent misappropriation and solicitation for the virtual currency MBC. One of the first cases to hold virtual currencies are commodities and therefore subject to CFTC enforcement authority.

2017.09.21 🟦 MM

CFTC v. Gelfman Blueprint, Inc., No. 1:17-cv-07181 (S.D.N.Y. 2017.09.21) – Press Release (2018.10.18) – Press Release (2017.09.21)

Bitcoin Ponzi scheme, fraudulent solicitation of $600,000 of bitcoin, falsified reports and account statements. Final judgment orders $1 million in restitution and $2 million in civil penalties.

2016.06.02 🟩 OET 🟫 UR

In re BFNXA Inc., d/b/a Bitfinex, No. 16-19 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2016.06.02) – Press Release

Failure to register as an FCM and permitting off-exchange transactions, namely permitting users to borrow funds from one another in order to trade bitcoins on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis.

2015.09.24 ⭕️ Other

In re TeraExchange LLC, No. 15-33 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2015.09.24) – Press Release – Dissenting Statement by Sharon Y. Bowen

Despite provisional registration as a swap execution facility (SEF), failure to prohibit wash trading in bitcoin β€” and in fact facilitating it.

2015.09.17 🟩 OET 🟫 UR πŸŸͺ CP

In re Coinflip, Inc., No. 15-29 (CFTC Admin. Proc. 2015.09.17) – Press Release

Violations of regulations regarding commodity options and operating a swap facility without registration, done by offering to connect buyers and sellers of bitcoin option contracts. D/B/A Derivabit.

DOJ / Criminal

DOJ / Criminal Color Key

The below color keys indicate the theories of liability advanced by the government in various types of proceedings. The major theories (i.e., most commonly asserted) are listed, with some references to less common also listed.

πŸŸ₯ = Fraud (F)

🟦 = Money Laundering (ML)

🟧 = Forfeiture (FF)

⭕️ = Other

Date / TypeName / Court / Docket LinkNotes

2023.08.22 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. DeSalvo, No. 2:23-mj-11153 (D.N.J. 2023.08.22)

Wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering charges based on fraudulent fundraising by DeSalvo, which included a cryptocurrency scheme that resulted in losses of more than $600,000. The crypto scheme targeted law enforcement and first responders to invest in a digital token, Blazar, that he falsely claimed was SEC-approved and listed on cryptocurrency exchanges. Related enforcement action by SEC brought simultaneously.

2023.08.21 🟦 ML

United States v. Storm, No. 1:23-cr-00430 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.08.21) – Press Release

Criminal indictment against founders/developers of Tornado Cash, a privacy preserving cryptocurrency mixer allegedly used by North Korea and other criminal organizations to launder more than $1 billion in stolen funds. Charges include conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business (MSB).

2023.07.11 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Mashinsky, No. 1:23-cr-00347 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.07.11) – Press Release

Parallel enforcement action with SEC, CFTC, and FTC. Former CEO and ex CRO of Celsius, Alexander Mashinsky and Roni Cohen-Pavon, charged with securities fraud, commodities fraud, wire fraud, and market manipulation for defrauding customers and manipulating the company's crypto token, CEL.

2023.07.10 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Ahmed, No. 1:23-cr-00340 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.07.10) – Press Release

Fraud against Solana-based decentralized finance (DeFi) exchange, The Crypto Exchange, by senior security engineer who exploited the exchange's smart contracts and inserted fake pricing data to fraudulently cause that smart contract to generate approximately $9 million dollars’ worth of inflated fees.

2023.07.10 πŸŸ₯ F ⭕️ Other 🟧 FF

United States v. Oulahyane, No. 1:23-cr-00215 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.07.10) – Press Release

Wire fraud, CFAA, identity theft, and forfeiture charges based on operation of a spoofed OpenSea website to gain unauthorized access to victims’ cryptocurrency wallets to steal their cryptocurrency and NFTs.

2023.06.22 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Ichioka, No. 3:23-cr-00190 (N.D. Cal. 2023.06.22) – Press Release

Parallel enforcement action with SEC and CFTC. Wire fraud, tax fraud, securities fraud, and commodities 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.

2023.06.07 🟦 ML

United States v. Verner, No. 1:19-cr-00936 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.06.07) – Press Release

Conspiracy to launder approximately 647,000 bitcoins from the 2011 hack of Mt. Gox. Related action against these defendants in connection with BTC-e exchange, infra.

2023.05.17 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Shetty, No. 2:23-cr-00084 (W.D. Wash. 2023.05.17) – Press Release

Former CFO embezzled $35 million in company assets to his own crypto platform, HighTower Treasury, that he controlled as a side business, directly against conservative investment decision of the company. Nearly all funds lost.

2023.04.20 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Kane, No. 1:23-cr-20172 (S.D. Fla. 2023.04.20) – Press Release

Conspiracy to manipulate the market for HYDRO, a virtual asset created by the Hydrogen Technology Corporation, and wire fraud, based on spoof orders and wash trading.

2023.04.06 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Russell, No. 1:23-cr-00152 (E.D.N.Y. 2023.04.06) – Press Release

Cryptocurrency investment fraud scheme by falsely promising to use money for cryptocurrency investments that would generate largeβ€”and sometimes β€œguaranteed”—returns. Instead Russell misappropriated funds for his own use and to repay other investors.

2023.03.23 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Kwon, No. 1:23-cr-00151 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.03.23)

Criminal commodities, securities, and wire fraud against Do Kwon, founder of stablecoin UST and supporting coin LUNA, by deceiving individuals about aspects of the Terraform blockchain. Also includes market manipulation charges based on violations of the CEA and the Exchange Act.

2023.03.21 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Dilkinska, No. 1:17-cr-00630 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.03.21) – Press Release

Superseding indictment against the Head of Legal and Compliance for OneCoin, charging conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering related to the Ponzi scheme.

2023.03.14 🟦 ML ⭕️ Other

United States v. Nguyen, No. 2:23-mj-00528 (E.D. Pa. 2023.03.14) – Press Release

Criminal money laundering and identity theft charges against the operator of ChipMixer, an alleged darknet cryptocurrency mixer responsible for over $3 billion in laundering.

2023.01.18 🟦 ML

United States v. Legkodymov, No. 23-M-17 (E.D.N.Y. 2023.01.18) – Press Release (Re: Charges) – Press Release (Re: Arrest)

Action against founder of crypto exchange Bitzlato for facilitating money laundering.

2023.01.09 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Eisenberg, No. 1:23-cr-00010-RMB (S.D.N.Y. 2023.01.09) – Press Release (2023.02.02) – Press Release (2023.02.02)

Commodities fraud and manipulation charges against Mango Markets attacker.

2022.12.09 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML ⭕️ Other

United States v. Bankman-Fried, No. 1:22-cr-00673 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.12.09) – Press Release

Multiple wire fraud charges against founder of FTX for defrauding customers, lenders, investors, and money laundering resulting from the same activity. Also charges fraud on the U.S. government for campaign finance violations.

2022.07.19 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Wahi, No. 1:22-cr-00392 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.07.19) – Press Release (2022.07.21) – Press Release (2022.09.12) – Press Release (2023.01.10)

Insider trading scheme by Coinbase employees with knowledge of assets soon-to-be listed on Coinbase.

2022.06.30 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Pires, No. 1:22-cr-20296 (S.D. Fla. 2022.06.30) – Press Release

Counterpart criminal case to EmpiresX SEC and CFTC cases. $100 million Ponzi scheme.

2022.06.28 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Tuan, No. 2:22-cr-00273-JLS (C.D. Cal. 2022.06.28) – Press Release

NFT rug pull scheme of the "Baller Ape Club," netting $2.6 million.

2022.06.28 πŸŸ₯ F ⭕️ Other

United States v. Saffron, No. 2:22-cr-00276 (C.D. Cal. 2022.06.28) – Press Release – Case Status (from DOJ)

Parallel criminal action to CFTC. Fraudulent solicitation of funds to run a commodity pool for cryptocurrency trading using a bot.

2022.06.17 🟦 ML

United States v. Gill, No. 3:22-cr-00149 (W.D.N.C. 2022.06.17) – Press Release

Unlicensed MSB for exchanging cash for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and monero.

2022.05.31 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Chastain, No. 1:22-cr-00305 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.05.31) – Press Release

First DOJ criminal case alleging insider trading in digital assets. Former OpenSea employee in charge of featuring NFTs on the OpenSea homepage allegedly used this information to buy and sell featured NFTs.

2022.05.13 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Stollery, No. 2:22-cr-00207 (C.D. Cal. 2022.05.13) – Press Release (2022.06.30) – Press Release (2022.07.25)

Securities fraud by founder of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services (TBIS); fraudulent initial coin offering based on falsified documents, fake testimonials, and fake business relationships.

2022.03.15 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Nguyen, No. 1:22-mj-02478 (S.D.N.Y. 2022.03.15) – Press Release

Frosties and Embers NFT rug pull scheme.

2022.02.07 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Lichtenstein, No. 1:22-mj-00022 (D.D.C. 2022.02.07) – Press Release

Money laundering scheme by alleged 2016 hackers of Bitfinex resulting in $4.5 billion in bitcoin being stolen and laundered for years.

2021.09.01 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Arcaro, No. 3:21-cr-02542 (S.D. Cal. 2022.09.01) – Press Release (2021.09.01) – Press Release (2023.01.12)

Director and promoter of BitConnect pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. SEC also brought charges separately.

2021.06.23 🟦 ML

United States v. Yusko, No. 2:21-cr-00077 (E.D. La. 2021.06.23) – Press Release (2021.06.24) – Press Release (2021.08.06)

Unlicensed money transmitting business. Yusko sold bitcoin to customers through unregistered businesses for a 5% fee, instructing purchasers to hide from transmitting banks the purpose of the transactions.

2021.05.26 🟦 ML

United States v. Vo, 4:21-cr-00281 (S.D. Tex. 2021.05.26) – Press Release

Unlicensed money transmitting business. Vo bought and sold bitcoin through websites, collecting a percentage of the transactions which ranged from 5-30%.

2021.04.26 🟦 ML

United States v. Sterlingov, No. 1:21-cr-00399 (D.D.C. 2021.04.26) – Press Release

Money laundering charges against founder of Bitcoin Fog, then the longest-running cryptocurrency mixer notorious among criminal enterprises.

2021.03.26 🟦 ML

United States v. Hopkins, No. 3:21-cr-00144 (N.D. Tex. 2021.03.26) – Press Release

Unlicensed MSB charges against 'Doctor Bitcoin', who helped clients evade BSA requirements in converting proceeds of crime to and from bitcoin.

2021.03.23 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. DeMarr, No. 1:21-cr-00153 (E.D.N.Y. 2021.03.23) – Press Release (2021.02.01) – Press Release (2021.07.30) – Press Release (2023.01.31)

Fraudulent investment scheme that purportedly provided crypto mining and trading services through "StartOptions" and "B2G", but funds were instead diverted for personal use. $3.5 million.

2020.11.05 🟧 FF

United States v. 69,370 Bitcoin, No. 3:20-cv-07811 (N.D. Cal. 2020.11.05)

Forfeiture action against bitcoin seized in connection with shutting down the Silk Road marketplace.

2020.09.21 🟦 ML

United States v. Hayes, No. 1:20-cr-00500-JGK (S.D.N.Y 2020.09.21) – Press Release (2020.10.01) – Press Release (2022.02.24)

Failure to establish an effective AML/KYC program by executives and cofounders of BitMEX which allowed trading in bitcoin futures, and was therefore required to register with the CFTC and FinCEN as a futures commission merchant FCM, but failed to do so. All defendants eventually pleaded guilty, agreeing to individual fines between $150,000 to $10 million, in addition to probation.

2020.09.09 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Felton, No. 1:20-cr-00347 (N.D. Ga. 2020.09.09) – Press Release (2022.07.21)

Fraudulent ICO of FLiK, pump and dump of Spark Coin, money laundering of proceeds, securities fraud related to FLiK and Coin Spark.

2020.07.23 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Lacroix, No. 1:20-cr-00396-PAG (N.D. Ohio 2020.07.23)

Wire fraud a money laundering charges against purveyors of the PlexCoin ICO.

2020.07.09 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Kim, No. 3:20-mj-70923 (N.D. Cal. 2020.07.09) – Press Release

Wire fraud in connection with raising investment funds for a purported cryptocurrency operation; proceeds instead used for gambling.

2020.07.09 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Argires, No. 4:21-cr-00275 (S.D. Tex. 2020.07.09) – Press Release

Fraudulently obtaining Paycheck Protection Program loans for two fake businesses, and using the funds to purchase cryptocurrency.

2020.06.30 ⭕️ Other

United States v. Gratkowski, 964 F.3d 307 (5th Cir. 2020) – Trial Court Docket – Appellate Court Docket

Trial court denied motion to suppress history of Coinbase transactions and blockchain analytics obtained by government with a warrant. On appeal, Fifth Circuit affirmed because there is no privacy interest in bitocin transactions conducted through Coinbase or generally on the bitcoin blockchain.

2020.06.25 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Abramoff, No. 3:20-cr-00260 (N.D. Cal. 2020.06.25) – Press Release

Fraudulent fundraising for a "better" version of bitcoin, misrepresenting the development of the technology and third-party and government contracts. Misappropriation of raised funds.

2020.06.15 ⭕️ Other

United States v. McAfee, No. 1:20-cr-10029-STA (W.D. Tenn. 2020.06.15) – Press Release

Failure to report and pay taxes on millions in income from promoting cryptocurrency and related work. No connection to the eponymous owner of the anti-virus company.

2020.03.04 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Stojilkovic, No. 3:20-cr-00120 (N.D. Tex. 2020.03.04) – Press Release

Global fraudulent investment scheme in, among other things, binary options and cryptocurrency mining.

2020.02.18 πŸŸ₯ F ⭕️ Other

United States v. Chen, No. 2:20-cr-00089 (JFW) (C.D. Cal. 2020.02.18)

$147 million investment fundraising fraud in "Gem Coins" that purportedly could be traded among jewelry and finance industries, with option to convert Gem Coins in to USD; failure to pay taxes on income.

2020.01.29 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Caruso, No. 2:20-cr-00165 (JJT) (D. Ariz. 2020.01.29)

Investment fundraising fraud in a purported cryptocurrency fund. Misappropriation of $7 million of funds for use on luxury purchases.

2020.01.16 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Manor, No. 2:20-cr-00051 (D.N.J. 2020.01.16) – Press Release

Fraudulent investment scheme that raised $30 million in cash and crypto. Misrepresentations regarding nature of business, the owners, investors, revenue, and clients.

2020.01.15 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Ackerman, No. 1:20-cr-00093 (S.D.N.Y. 2020.01.15) – Press Release (2021.09.08)

Fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme. Funds diverted for personal use.

2019.12.05 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Goettsche, No. 2:19-cr-00877-CCC-2 (D.N.J. 2019.12.05) – Press Release

Wire fraud and conspiracy to sell unregistered securities through BitClub Network, which solicited money in exchange for shares of a purported crypto mining pool, and rewarded investors for recruiting new investors. $722 million.

2019.12.03 🟦 ML

United States v. Harmon, No. 1:19-cr-00395 (D.D.C. 2019.12.03) – Press Release (2020.02.13) – Press Release (2021.08.18)

Money laundering by operation of bitcoin mixer Helix, which worked in connection with Darknet search engine Grams.

2019.11.21 ⭕️ Other 🟧 FF

United States v. Griffith, No. 1:20-cr-00015 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.11.21) – Press Release (2022.04.12) – Press Release (2022.04.25)

Conspiracy to assist North Korea by developing and funding cryptocurrency infrastructure to assist in aiding US sanctions and fund its nuclear weapons program.

2019.11.13 πŸŸ₯ F ⭕️ Other

United States v. Meiggs, No. 1:19-cr-10438 (D. Mass. 2019.11.13) – Press Release (2022.10.19)

Theft of over $330,000 in cryptocurrency through SIM swapping attacks against executives of cryptocurrency companies and social media influencers.

2019.10.29 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML ⭕️ Other

United States v. Potekhin, No. 3:19-cr-00572 (N.D. Cal. 2019.10.29) – Press Release

Fraud and money laundering scheme to imitate legitimate exchanges to trick consumers into using fraudulent crypto exchanges, resulting at least $16.8 million theft.

2019.10.10 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Saint Clair, No. 1:19-cr-00790-PKC (S.D.N.Y. 2019.10.10) – Press Release (2019.11.06) – Press Release (2022.03.18)

Fraudulent investment scheme in purported digital coin offering called IGObit, claiming the fund was a close affiliate of the United Nations.

2019.09.25 🟦 ML

United States v. Trofimovics, No. 2:19-cr-00304-MJH (2019.09.25) – Press Release (2020.10.15)

Global money laundering business that used cryptocurrency tumbling services to hide the original source of ill-gotten funds.

2019.09.17 ⭕️ Other

United States v. Nerayoff, No. 1:20-cr-00008 (E.D.N.Y. 2019.09.17) – Press Release

Extortion charges against an attorney and conspirator to "destroy a startup cryptocurrency company if they were not paid millions of dollars in the cryptocurrency Ether (ETH)."

2019.08.15 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF ⭕️ Other

United States v. Vernon, No. 1:19-cr-20509 (S.D. Fla. 2019.08.15) – Press Release (2022.01.26)

Founder and CEO of Cryptsy, a crypto exchange, stole over $1 million from customer wallets. Vernon remains a fugitive.

2019.08.13 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Gunton, No. 3:19-cr-00372-EMC (N.D. Cal. 2019.08.13) – Press Release (2021.05.20)

Hacking charges (computer fraud/wire fraud) against EtherDelta attackers, resulting in losses to hundreds of victims.

2019.07.25 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. BTC-e, No. 4:19-cv-04281 (N.D. Cal. 2019.07.25)

Civil forfeiture action against digital currency exchange BTC-e alleged to have facilitated widespread money laundering by cybercriminals, all in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act's requirements to register with FinCEN, establish an AML program, and conduct adequate KYC on customers. $100 million. Related criminal case against BTC-e and Alexander Vinnik, infra.

2019.07.18 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Thompson, No. 1:19-cr-00698 (S.D.N.Y. 2019.07.18) – Press Release (2019.09.30) – Press Release (2020.10.01)

Commodities fraud action against cryptocurrency escrow company. Thompson fraudulent induced a company to send him $3 million for the purchase of bitcoin, but never obtained the bitcoin and sent the money to a third party.

2019.04.18 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Gift, No. 3:19-cr-00141 (D. Or. 2019.04.18) – Press Release

Fraudulent investment scheme promising investors 20-50% zero-risk returns on bitcoin investments through wealthcurrency.com, boomcurrency.com, and merrycurrency.com.

2019.04.11 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Fowler, No. 1:19-cr-00254-ALC (S.D.N.Y. 2019.04.11) – Press Release (2019.04.30) – Press Release (2022.04.25)

Former co-owner of the Vikings and accomplices charged in connection with work for Crypto Capital, that provided crypto-to-fiat payment processing of $750 million in deposits and withdrawals through bank accounts opened under false pretenses.

2019.03.25 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. McDonnell, No. 1:19-cr-00148-NGG (E.D.N.Y. 2019.03.25) – Press Release

Wire fraud charges in connection with fraudulent crypto investment scheme by CabbageTech. McDonnell diverted funds for himself and sent investors false balance statements.

2019.02.26 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML

United States v. Antonenko, No. 1:20-cr-10102-WGY (D. Mass. 2019.02.26) – Press Release

Computer hacking and money laundering charges related to obtaining and selling credit and debit card numbers for bitcoin, then laundering the funds.

2019.02.26 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Crater, No. 1:19-cr-10063 (D. Mass. 2019.02.26) – Press Release (2019.02.27) – Press Release (2022.07.21)

Fraudulent investment scheme to market and sell fake virtual currency through My Big Coin, supposedly backed by $300+ million in gold and oil, and had partnership with MasterCard. Crater was convicted in 2022.

2018.11.20 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Rice, No. 3:18-cr-00587 (N.D. Tex. 2018.11.20) – Press Release (2018.11.28) – Press Release (2021.08.25)

Securities fraud related to AriseBank, purportedly a decentralized banking platform based on digital currency AriseCoin and that would be FDIC insured and a partnership with Visa. None of it was true. Rice pleaded guilty. Related case also by the SEC.

2018.08.25 πŸŸ₯ F

New York v. Eyal, (N.Y. Supr. Ct. Kings County 2018.08.25) – Press Release (2018.08.25) – Press Release (2019.12.12)

Fraudulent scheme related to the ICO of Shopin, as well as two prior companies.

2018.08.09 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Campos, No. 3:18-cr-03554-H (S.D. Cal. 2018.08.09) – Press Release

Money laundering charges against unlicensed bitcoin dealer with no KYC/AML policies and no MSB registration.

2018.07.05 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML ⭕️ Other

United States v. Stoica, No. 5:18-cr-00081 (E.D. Ky. 2018.07.05) – Press Release

Online auction fraud. Once victims sent fiat funds, they were laundered through various cryptocurrency channels, and then converted back into fiat.

2018.06.12 ⭕️ Other

New York v. Guzman, (N.Y. Supr. Ct. N.Y. County 2018.06.12) – Statement of Facts (c/o Morrison Cohen) – News Coverage

Kidnapping, armed robbery, and theft of more than $1.8 million in Ether.

2018.03.31 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Trapani, No. 1:18-cr-00340 (S.D.N.Y. 2018.03.31) – Press Release (2018.04.20) – Press Release (2018.05.14) – Press Release (2020.06.16) – Press Release (2020.12.15) – Press Release (2021.03.04)

Securities and wire fraud arising from ICO conducted by Centra Tech, Inc. that purported to develop a debit/credit card allowing consumers to spend their crypto through the card.

2018.02.21 πŸŸ₯ F ⭕️ Other 🟧 FF

United States v. Kantor, No. 2:18-cr-00177 (E.D.N.Y. 2018.02.21) – Press Release (2019.07.01)

Fraudulent scheme against Blue Bit Banc investors who invested in cryptocurrency ATM Coin, a worthless coin invented to persuade investors to convert profits of BBB's binary options trading.

2018.02.20 ⭕️ Other

United States v. Montroll, No. 1:18-cr-00520-RMB (S.D.N.Y. 2018.02.20) – Press Release (2018.02.21) – Press Release (2019.07.12)

Perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with an investigation into the hack of Montroll's two online bitcoin services, WeExchange Australia and Bitfunder.com, and securities fraud as to investors in a Ukyo.Loan.

2018.02.15 πŸŸ₯ F

United States v. Kim, No. 1:18-cr-00107 (N.D. Ill. 2018.02.15) – Press Release (2018.02.15) – Press Release (2018.11.13)

Wire fraud charge against trader who defrauded his firm out of $2 million of the company's cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and litecoin.

2017.11.28 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Tetley, No. 2:17-cr-00738 (C.D. Cal. 2017.11.28) – Press Release (2018.07.09)

Unlicensed MSB charges against 'Bitcoin Maven' for offering bitcoin-for-cash exchange services, exchanging between $6 to $9.5 million for customers across the country.

2017.10.27 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Zaslavskiy, No. 1:17-cr-00647 (E.D.N.Y. 2017.10.27) – Press Release (2017.11.01) – Press Release (2018.11.15) – Press Release (2019.11.18)

Securities fraud charges stemming from two ICOs (REcoin and DRC World). Coins were purportedly backed by real estate or diamonds.

2017.10.25 🟦 ML

United States v. Stetkiw, No. 2:17-mj-30566 (E.D. Mich. 2017.10.25)

Complaint against Stetkiw for offering cash-to-bitcoin exchange services without registering as an MSB. Dismissed without prejudice by the U.S. in 2018.

2017.10.12 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Greenwood, No. 1:17-cr-00630-ER (2017.10.12) – Press Release (2022.12.16)

Wire fraud and money laundering against founders of OneCoin, a fraudulent pyramid scheme, resulting in over €4 billion in sales. Greenwood pled guilty.

2017.07.21 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Ong, No. 2:17-cr-00191 (W.D. Wash. 2017.07.21) – Press Release (2018.05.11)

Money laundering charges for exchanging bitcoin for cash; despite registering with FinCEN as an MSB, failure to implement required BSA controls.

2017.07.20 πŸŸ₯ F 🟧 FF

United States v. Garza, No. 3:17-cr-00158 (D. Conn. 2017.07.20) – Press Release (2017.07.20) – Press Release (2018.09.13)

Fraud charges against CEO of PayCoin for selling purported shares in virtual currency miners for selling the shares based on misrepresentations about the mining power and cash reserves of the company. $9.2 million.

2017.04.21 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Costanzo, No. 2:17-cr-00585 (D. Ariz. 2017.04.21) – Press Release (2018.03.29) – Press Release (2018.08.01)

Money laundering charges against 'Morpheus Titania' for exchanging bitcoin for cash to drug dealers, and purchasing drugs with bitcoin.

2016.05.31 🟦 ML

United States v. BTC-e, No. 3:16-cr-00227 (N.D. Cal. 2016.05.31) – Press Release (2022.08.05)

Criminal action against crypto exchange BTC-e and its founder that allegedly was widely used by criminals to launder proceeds of crime due to minimal AML/KYC safeguards. Founder Alexander Vinnik was extradited from Greece to the US in August 2022. Note the parallel civil forfeiture action, supra.

2015.12.04 🟦 ML ⭕️ Other

United States v. Petix, No. (W.D.N.Y. 2015.12.04) – Press Release (2015.12.07) – Press Release (2016.03.11) – Press Release (2017.04.27)

Unlawful access to a computer by individual on probation from child pornography conviction. Petix used the computer to conduct 100+ bitcoin transactions. Many transactions were conducted to transfer money to others, as an unregistered MSB.

2015.11.18 πŸŸ₯ F 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Lord, No. 5:15-cr-00240 (W.D. La. 2015.11.18) – Press Release (2016.04.20) – Press Release (2017.05.25) – Fifth Circuit decision affirming denial of motion to withdraw guilty pleas at 915 F.3d 1009 (5th Cir. 2019)

Failure to register as an MSB while exchanging bitcoins for cash for clients. Fraud against payments processors unwittingly utilized in the scheme by hiding the true nature of the business. Both defendants pleaded guilty to a single MSB count.

2015.11.17 🟦 ML

United States v. Mansy, No. 2:15-cr-00198 (D. Me. 2015.11.17) – Press Release (2017.05.17)

Failure to register as an MSB while buying and selling bitcoin for others.

2015.07.17 🟦 ML

United States v. Murgio, No. 1:15-cr-00769 (S.D.N.Y. 2015.07.17) – Press Release (2015.07.21) – Press Release (2015.11.10) – Press Release (2016.03.03) – Press Release (2017.01.09) – Press Release (2017.03.17) – Press Release (2017.06.27)

Operators of Coin.mx, a bitcoin exchange service, charged with failure to register as an MSB or comply with the BSA's AML/KYC requirements.

2014.02.06 🟦 ML

Florida v. Espinoza, No. F14-2923 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2014)

First-impression money laundering charges against individual offering cash-for-bitcoin exchange services without registering as a money services business. Initially dismissed after trial court ruled bitcoin does not qualify as money, reinstated on appeal.

2014.01.24 🟦 ML

United States v. Faiella, No. 1:14-cr-00243 (S.D.N.Y. 2014.01.24) – Press Release (2014.01.27) – Press Release (2014.09.04) – Press Release (2014.12.19) – Press Release (2015.01.20)

Money laundering and unregistered MSB charges against two individuals in scheme to sell over $1 million in bitcoin to users of Silk Road.

2013.05.20 🟦 ML 🟧 FF

United States v. Liberty Reserve, S.A., No. 1:13-cr-00368-DLC (S.D.N.Y. 2013.05.20) – Press Release (2013.05.28) – Press Release (2013.11.01) – Press Release (2014.08.14) – Press Release (2014.09.11) – Press Release (2014.09.23) – Press Release (2014.10.10) – Press Release (2014.12.12) – Press Release (2015.01.30) – Press Release (2016.01.29) – Press Release (2016.05.06)

Money laundering and unregistered MSB charges against Liberty Reserve, at the time one of the largest digital currency services, and seven of its principals.

Misc Fed/State

Date / TypeName / Court / Docket LinkNotes

2023.07.13

Federal Trade Commission v. Celsius Network Inc., No. 1:23-cv-06009 (S.D.N.Y. 2023.07.13)

Parallel enforcement action with DOJ, CFTC, and SEC. Celsius along with former CEO Alexander Mashinsky and other executives, charged with unfair and deceptive practices, misappropriating customer funds in violation of the FTC Act, and violations of the GLB Act by obtaining customer financial information on false pretenses.

2023.03.09

New York v. Mek Global Ltd. d/b/a KuCoin, No. _ (N.Y. Supr. Ct. 2023.03.09)

Action by NY attorney general against KuCoin for failing to register as securities or commodities exchange while selling ETH, UST, LUNA, and offering KuCoin earn, all in violation of the Martin Act.

2023.02.22

New York v. Vino Global Ltd. d/b/a CoinEx, No. 450503/2023 (N.Y. Supr. Ct. 2023.02.22)

Action by NY attorney general against CoinEx for failing to register as an exchange and selling unregistered securities, all in violation of the Martin Act. Tokens at issue: AMP, LBC, LUNA, $RLY.

2023.01.05

New York v. Alex Mashinsky, No. 450040/2023 (N.Y. Supr. Ct. 2023.01.05)

NY attorney general action against Celsius founder and former CEO alleging he defrauded depositors of digital assets out of billions by misrepresenting the firm's financial condition.

2022.11.28

In re Payward, Inc. d/b/a Kraken (OFAC Admin. Proc. 2022.11.28)

$362,158 settlement over alleged violations of Iranian transactions and sanctions regulations, resulting from failure to timely implement geolocation tools.

2022.09.26

In re Nexo Inc., Nexo Capital, Inc. and Nexo Financial, LLC – California – Kentucky – Maryland – New York – Oklahoma – South Carolina – Vermont – Washington

Coordinated action by eight States to simultaneously bring enforcement actions based on unregistered sale of securities in violation of local law for interest bearing crypto deposit accounts.

2022.08.01

Idaho Dep't of Finance v. Celsius Network, No. 2022-07-07 (Idaho Admin. Proc. 2022.08.01)

Unregistered sale of securities, unregistered money transmitter business, unauthorized trust activity.

2022.08.01

In re Robinhood Crypto, LLC (N.Y.D.F.S. Admin. Proc. 2022.08.01)

Consent order imposing $30 million fine on Robinhood for failing to implement and maintain AML and cybersecurity programs.

2021.08.30

iFinex Inc. v. New York, No. 158119/2021 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2021.08.30)

Action by Bitfinex and Tether pursuant to New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) seeking to prevent public disclosure of documents related to Tether's reserves involved in a settlement with the New York Attorney General's office.

2021.02.17

New York v. Coinseed Inc., No. 450366/2021 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2021.02.17)

Unregistered sales of a token while making misrepresentations about the management team; unregistered broker dealer; all in violation of New York's Martin Act.

2020.10.19

In re Larry Dean Harmon, No. 2020-2 (FinCEN Admin. Proc. 2020.10.19)

Civil money penalty against CEO of Coin Ninja and Helix for failing to comply with the AML obligations of the BSA as an MSB (and failing to register as an MSB).

Challenges

The Challenges section involves cases where the plaintiff is suing the government, usually an administrative agency, for relief of some kind.

DateName / Court / Docket LinkNotes

2023.04.26

In re Coinbase, Inc., No. 23-1779 (3d Cir. 2023.04.26)

Coinbase petition for writ of mandamus seeking to require SEC to respond to its petition for rulemaking.

2022.11.22

Hodl Law, PLLC v. SEC, 3:22-cv-01832 (S.D. Cal. 2022.11.22) – Bloomberg article – Law360 article

Declaratory action seeking judicial order that Ethereum's native token is not a security.

2022.10.12

Coin Center v. Yellen, No. 3:22-cv-20375 (N.D. Fla. 2022.10.12) – Coin Center Press Release

Coin Center funded lawsuit challenging OFAC's Tornado Cash sanctions.

2022.09.08

Van Loon v. Dep't of the Treasury, No. 6:22-cv-00920 (W.D. Tex. 2022.09.08) – Coinbase Press Release – MSJ in Treasury's favor. β€œTornado Cash is an entity that may be properly designated as a person under IEEPA,” specifically that it was an entity β€œcomposed of its founders, its developers, and its DAO.” (2023.08.17)

Coinbase funded lawsuit challenging OFAC's Tornado Cash sanctions.

2022.07.21

Coinbase seeks a framework for determining when digital assets are securities through binding rulemaking.

2022.06.29

Grayscale Investments, LLC v. SEC, No. 22-1142 (D.C. Cir. 2022.06.29) – Oral Argument – Opinion in Grayscale's favor. "The Commission’s unexplained discounting of the obvious financial and mathematical relationship between the spot and futures markets falls short of the standard for reasoned decisionmaking." (2023.08.29)

Challenge to SEC's refusal to grant spot Bitcoin ETP / ETF. Led by former US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

2022.06.10

Carman v. Yellen, No. 5:22-cv-00149 (E.D. Ky. 2022.06.10)

2022.06.07

Custodia Bank Inc v. Federal Reserve Board of Governors, No. 1:22-cv-00125 (D. Wyo. 2022.06.07) – Federal Reserve Order Denying Application for Membership (2023.03.24)

Custodia Bank seeks a master account with the Federal Reserve, and to compel a response to its application, pending for more than 19 months.

2021.12.08

Empower Oversight Whistleblowers & Research v. SEC, No. 1:21-cv-01370 (E.D. Va. 2021.12.08)

Petition to compel FOIA response re former SEC official conflicts of interest in cryptocurrency oversight (Hinman, Clayton, Berger).

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