Unlicensed Activity

CFTC v. Samuel Reed: $10M Settlement

Consent Order imposing a civil penalty of $10 million on Samuel Reed regarding the operation of the BitMEX cryptocurrency trading platform in Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. HDR Global Trading Limited, of the Seychelles; 100x Holdings Limited, of Bermuda; ABS Global Trading Limited, of Delaware; Shine Effort Inc. Limited, of Hong Kong; HDR Global Services (Bermuda) Limited, of Bermuda, all d.b.a. BitMEX; Arthur Hayes, described as a citizen of the United States residing in Hong Kong; Ben Peter Delo, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom residing in Hong Kong, and Samuel Reed, described as a U.S. citizen who resided in Milwaukee, WI, and Boston, MA, during the relevant period, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

CFTC v. Benjamin Delo: $10M Settlement

Consent Order imposing a civil penalty of $10 million on Benjamin Delo regarding the operation of the BitMEX cryptocurrency trading platform in Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. HDR Global Trading Limited, of the Seychelles; 100x Holdings Limited, of Bermuda; ABS Global Trading Limited, of Delaware; Shine Effort Inc. Limited, of Hong Kong; HDR Global Services (Bermuda) Limited, of Bermuda, all d.b.a. BitMEX; Arthur Hayes, described as a citizen of the United States residing in Hong Kong; Ben Peter Delo, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom residing in Hong Kong, and Samuel Reed, described as a U.S. citizen who resided in Milwaukee, WI, and Boston, MA, during the relevant period, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

CFTC v. Arthur Hayes: $10M Settlement

Consent Order imposing a civil penalty of $10 million on Arthur Hayes regarding the operation of the BitMEX cryptocurrency trading platform in Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. HDR Global Trading Limited, of the Seychelles; 100x Holdings Limited, of Bermuda; ABS Global Trading Limited, of Delaware; Shine Effort Inc. Limited, of Hong Kong; HDR Global Services (Bermuda) Limited, of Bermuda, all d.b.a. BitMEX; Arthur Hayes, described as a citizen of the United States residing in Hong Kong; Ben Peter Delo, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom residing in Hong Kong, and Samuel Reed, described as a U.S. citizen who resided in Milwaukee, WI, and Boston, MA, during the relevant period, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Mark Cassidy v. Voyager Digital Ltd. et al: Amended Class Action Complaint

Amended Class Action Complaint alleging fraud and the sale of unregistered securities in Mark Cassidy v. Voyager Digital Ltd., described as a Canada-domiciled, New York-based "cryptocurrency platform", and Voyager Digital LLC, described as being domiciled in Delaware and based in New Jersey, at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

SEC v. Dean Shah et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging securities fraud involving individuals and entities in or from Belize, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Panama, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and USA in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Dean Shah, Henry Clarke, Julius Csurgo, and Antevorta Capital Partners Ltd. at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

SEC v. John Barksdale et al: Complaint (‘$124M Crypto-Based Fraud’)

Complaint alleging the defendants "raised at least $124 million from over 20,000 investors" in a crypto-based fraudulent scheme involving Ormeus Global SA, of Panama, and Ormeus Coin, of Hong Kong, in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. John Barksdale, described as a citizen of the USA residing in Thailand, and his sister, JonAtina Barksdale, a.k.a. Tina Barksdale, described as a citizen of the USA residing in Hong Kong, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Kayla Blacksher v. SafeMoon LLC et al: Class Action Complaint

Class Action Complaint alleging a cryptocurrency-based investment fraud in Kayla Blacksher v. SafeMoon LLC, SafeMoon US LLC, SafeMoon Connect LLC, Tano LLC, SafeMoon Ltd., of England; SafeMoon Protocol Ltd., of England; SafeMoon Media Group Ltd., of England; Braden John Karony, Jack Haines-Davies, of London, England; Ryan Arriaga, Shaun Witriol, Henry 'Hank' Wyatt, Thomas Smith, Kyle Nagy, Jake Paul, Nick Carter, DeAndre Cortez Way, Ben Phillips, Miles Parks McCollum, and Daniel M. Keem at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

John Mangano v. BlockFi et al: Class Action Complaint

Class Action Complaint alleging the sale of unregistered securities in John Mangano v. BlockFi Inc., described as "a financial services company that generates revenue through cryptocurrency trading, lending, and borrowing, as well as engaging in proprietary trading"; BlockFi, BlockFi Trading LLC, and BlockFi Lending LLC at the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

USA v. Satish Kumbhani: Criminal Indictment

Criminal Indictment alleging a $2.4 billion investment fraud and money laundering scheme involving BitConnect, which "operated a cryptocurrency investment platform and touted its various investment programs through social media", in USA v. Satish Kurjibhai Kumbhani, described as a citizen of India, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

BlockFi Lending LLC: $50M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it has imposed a fine of $50 million on BlockFi Lending LLC, a New Jersey-based crypto lender, for regulatory breaches, including "material misrepresentation" and operating as "an Unregistered Investment Company".

USA v. Ongaruck Sripetch: Plea Agreement

Plea Agreement regarding the sale of unregistered securities in companies Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the USA in USA v. Ongaruck Sripetch at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

USA v. Ongaruck Sripetch: Criminal Information

Criminal Information alleging the offer and sale of unregistered securities in USA v. Ongaruck Sripetch at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

SEC v. Metavine Pty. Ltd.: Settlement

Stipulation Consenting to Judgment in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Metavine Pty. Ltd., of Australia, at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

SEC v. Crowd Machine Inc. et al: Settlement

Stipulation with Proposed Order in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Crowd Machine Inc. and Metavine Inc. at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

SEC v. Craig Sproule: Settlement

Stipulation with Proposed Order in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Craig Sproule, a citizen of Australia, at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

SEC v. Crowd Machine Inc. et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging a "fraudulent and unregistered" cryptocurrency offering that "raised more than $33 million from hundreds of investors" and involved entities in Australia, Cayman Islands, South Africa, and United States in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Crowd Machine Inc., of Delaware; Metavine Inc., of Delaware, and Craig Derel Sproule, a citizen of Australia, as Defendants, and Metavine Pty. Ltd., of Australia, as Relief Defendant, at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

CFTC v. WorldWideMarkets Ltd. et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging fraud and misappropriation of "at least $4.7 million of customer funds" in Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. WorldWideMarkets Ltd., of the British Virgin Islands; TAB Networks Inc., of Delaware; Thomas Plaut, of New Jersey, and Arthur Dembro, of New York, at the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Wedbush Securities Inc.: $1.2M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $1.2 million on Wedbush Securities Inc. for the "unregistered offers and sales of large blocks of low-priced securities by an offshore customer", namely Silverton SA, now known as Wintercap SA, described as "a purported Swiss asset manager", and failure to file suspicious activity reports.

USA v. 9.881 Bitcoin: Forfeiture Complaint (Fernando Berrocal)

Forfeiture Complaint in USA v. 9.881 Bitcoin "voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement" by Fernando Berrocal, who is suspected of laundering the proceeds of "illegal gambling, narcotics trafficking and various financial frauds", at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

SEC v. Ivars Auzins: Complaint

Complaint alleging "the fraudulent offer and sale of unregistered securities, including digital asset securities" involving "the Denaro initial coin offering and "the Innovamine cloud mining platform" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ivars Auzins, a.k.a. Ron Ramsey, a.k.a. Daniel Gaines, described as a citizen and resident of Latvia, at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

SEC v. Terraform Labs Pte Ltd. et al: ‘Subpoena Compliance’ Application

SEC's application for an order to show cause and requiring compliance with subpoenas in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Terraform Labs Pte Ltd., described as "a Singapore-incorporated computer programming and digital asset company", and Do Kwon, of South Korea, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Tether

BVI crypto firms Tether and Bitfinex fined $42.5M by US regulator

British Virgin Islands-domiciled crypto 'stablecoin' group Tether has been fined $41 million for fraud by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which also fined BVI crypto exchange Bitfinex $1.5 million for unlicensed activity and other offenses.

Bitfinex: $1.5M Fine

Administrative Order by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission imposing a fine of $1.5 million on iFinex Inc., BFXNA Inc., and BFXWW Inc., all of the British Virgin Islands, a crypto group collectively doing business as Bitfinex, for regulatory breaches.

USA v. Tochukwu Abel Edeh: Criminal Indictment

Criminal Indictment alleging conspiracy "to launder the proceeds of online investment fraud schemes and to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business to transfer the proceeds of criminal offenses, including wire fraud" in USA v. Tochukwu Abel Edeh, described as a citizen of Nigeria, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

CFTC v. Tradewale LLC et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging the defendants "fraudulently solicited members of the public for the purported purpose of trading off-exchange, retail foreign currency on a leveraged or margined basis in accounts to be managed by Tradewale, and misappropriated customers' funds" in Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Tradewale LLC, of Illinois; Tradewale Managed Fund, described as "an entity purportedly located in London, United Kingdom offering forex investments to the public", and Valdas Dapkus at the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Intelligent Formations Ltd. et al: Public Statement

Public Statement by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority that Intelligent Formations Limited and Christopher Stirk conducted regulated activity without a license. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert at the Isle of Man Companies Registry showed that Intelligent Formations Limited was formed in the Isle of Man on June 12th, 2020 and that its directors are Christopher Stirk, of the Isle of Man, who is also the beneficial owner, and Christian Burton, of York, England, while former directors include Sarah Southgate, of Leeds, England, who resigned effective December 28th, 2020, and Richard Macauley, of York, England, who resigned effective March 3rd, 2021. The group also includes at least two other companies with the same name, one in Britain that was incorporated on February 24th, 2020 and whose directors are identified in corporate filings as Sarah Southgate and Christian Burton, while former directors include Christopher Stirk, who resigned effective February 28th, 2021, and one in Hong Kong that was incorporated on May 25th, 2020 and whose directors are identified in corporate filings as Sarah Southgate and Daniel Burton, of York, England. Intelligent Formations' website at intelligentformations.com identifies the company's "Team" as Christopher Stirk, "Managing Director and Co-Founder"; Sarah Southgate, "Administration Director"; Michael Green, "Finance Manager"; Nick Stokes, "IT Manager and Web Design", and Chris Burton, "Business Consultant".

SEC v. Back to Green LLC et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging the defendants "defrauded investors through an illegal unregistered securities offering to share in the profits of a "green" gold and platinum mining venture operating in Ayapel, Colombia" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Back to Green LLC, of Puerto Rico; José Jiménez Cruz, of Puerto Rico, and Manuel Portalatin Rivera, of Colombia, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

SEC v. Rivetz International SEZC et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging the sale of unregistered digital assets in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rivetz Corp., of Delaware; Rivetz International SEZC, of the Cayman Islands, and Steven K. Sprague, described as a resident of the Cayman Islands and Massachusetts, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

SEC v. BitConnect et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging a securities fraud "that ultimately succeeded in obtaining more than 325,000 Bitcoin, or approximately $2 billion, from investors worldwide" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. BitConnect, described as "an unincorporated organization"; Satish Kumbhani, described as a citizen and resident of India; Glenn Arcaro, described as a citizen of the United States residing in California, and Future Money Ltd., of Hong Kong, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Benjamin Berger: ‘Criminal Complaint’ Announcement

Public Notice by the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission that it has brought a criminal complaint against Benjamin Berger, who appears to be based in California, for allegedly "selling the shares named Tian Tian Ventures" without the securities being registered.

George Bachiashvili v. Charlie Shrem et al: Amended Complaint

Amended Complaint alleging fraud and unregistered securities regarding the sale of cryptocurrency tokens involving Delaware and Cayman Islands-domiciled Crowd Machine in George Bachiashvili v. Charlie Shrem and Roger Tichenor at the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Aux Cayes Fintech Co. Ltd.: Statement of Allegations

Statement of Allegations in the matter of Aux Cayes Fintech Co. Ltd., described as a Seychelles-domiciled operator of "an online crypto asset trading platform", for "violating Ontario securities law", before the Ontario Securities Commission.

Brian Kang et al v. Hybrid Trade Ltd. et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging theft, misappropriation, and securities fraud regarding the raising of $50 million "from investors based around the world, including within the United States" from the sale of "digital tokens" that were "neither registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission nor qualified for any exemption from registration with the SEC, thereby depriving investors of the benefit of the disclosures required by the federal securities laws" in Brian Kang, Skyblock LLC, Mid-Wilshire Consulting LLC, Prasad Hurra, David Kim, Blue Rock Group, Artemio Verduzo, David Kwon, and Young Jae Kwon v. Hybrid Trade Limited, described as operating from addresses in Hong Kong, Malta, and Singapore; Asia Digital Asset Exchange, described as operating from an address in Cyprus; Allysian Sciences, Apolo Ohno, a former Olympic speed skating champion; Rod Jao, Eugenio Pugliese, and Henry Liu at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

CFTC v. BitMEX et al: $100M Settlement

Consent Order imposing a civil penalty of $100 million against the operators of the BitMEX cryptocurrency trading platform in Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. HDR Global Trading Limited, of the Seychelles; 100x Holdings Limited, of Bermuda; ABS Global Trading Limited, of Delaware; Shine Effort Inc Limited, of Hong Kong, and HDR Global Services (Bermuda) Limited, of Bermuda, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Poloniex LLC: $10.3M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $10.3 million on Poloniex, LLC, of Delaware, for operating "a digital asset trading platform" without registering "as a national securities exchange".

Daniel Valenti v. Dfinity Foundation et al: Class Action Complaint

Class Action Complaint alleging a cryptocurrency-related fraud and sale of unregistered securities in Daniel Valenti, of Tampa, Florida v. Dfinity USA Research LLC, described as a Delaware company based in Palo Alto, California; Dfinity Foundation, of Switzerland, and Dominic Williams, of Palo Alto, California, at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

DeFi Money Market et al: $13M Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties on Blockchain Credit Partners, d.b.a. DeFi Money Market, of the Cayman Islands; Gregory Keough, and Derek Acree, both of Florida, for an alleged fraud that involved selling "more than $30 million of securities in unregistered offerings by using smart contracts and "decentralized finance" technology to sell digital tokens".

SEC v. Uulala Inc. et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging "the fraudulent and unregistered offer and sale of digital asset securities known as UULA tokens" that raised "more than $9 million from over a thousand investors" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Uulala Inc., Oscar Garcia, and Matthew Loughran at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

SEC v. Uulala Inc.: Proposed Settlement

Consent to Judgment of Uulala Inc. in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Uulala Inc., Oscar Garcia, and Matthew Loughran at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

SEC v. Matthew Loughran: Proposed Settlement

Consent to Judgment of Matthew Loughran in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Uulala Inc., Oscar Garcia, and Matthew Loughran at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

SEC v. Oscar Garcia: Proposed Settlement

Consent to Judgment of Oscar Garcia in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Uulala Inc., Oscar Garcia, and Matthew Loughran at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

SEC sues Uulala for ‘$9 million crypto fraud’

A group called Uulala, which was the first applicant to be approved to conduct an Initial Coin Offering in crypto-friendly Bermuda, has been accused of perpetrating a $9 million digital tokens fraud in a complaint filed at federal court in California by the SEC - two-and-a-half years after the scheme was exposed by OffshoreAlert.