Crypto

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.

Tether Holdings Ltd. et al: $41M Fine

Administrative Order by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission imposing a fine of $41 million on Tether Holdings Limited, Tether Operations Limited, and Tether International Limited, all of the British Virgin Islands, and Tether Limited, of Hong Kong, for alleged fraud with its "virtual currency stablecoin".

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.

DappTricity Plc: Public Statement

Public Statement by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority regarding the de-registration of DappTricity Plc, an Isle of Man company whose "whitepaper" identified its product as "blockchain-based systems for finance and gaming" and whose assets, according to the Isle of Man FSA, were transferred to "a company in the British Virgin Islands" after failing a regulatory inspection in the Isle of Man in March, 2021.

Robert Guarini v. Binance et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging "a fraudulent scheme that sought to, and ultimately did, steal $680,000 worth of cryptocurrency from Plaintiff" in Robert Guarini v. John Doe and Binance, which is domiciled in the Cayman Islands, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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.

Tether & Bitfinex Crypto Asset Litigation: Opinion & Order on Motions to Dismiss

Opinion and Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' motions to dismiss a class action complaint known as "Tether and Bitfinex Crypto Asset Litigation" in which "a group of individual investors who purchased cryptocommodities - a class of crypto-assets that includes bitcoin - detailed a wide-ranging conspiracy to artificially inflate the price of those cryptocommodities" by entities in or from the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Panama, and USA in Pinchas Goldshtein et al v. iFinex Inc., BFXNA Inc., BFXWW Inc., Tether Holdings Limited, Tether Operations Limited, Tether Limited, Tether International Limited, DigFinex Inc., Giancarlo Devasini, Ludovicus Jan van der Velde, Philip Potter, Reginald Fowler, Crypto Capital Corp., Bittrex, Inc., and Poloniex, LLC at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Chardan Capital Markets LLC v. Diginex Ltd.: Notice of Removal

Notice of Removal, including a copy of the complaint, in Chardan Capital Markets LLC, of New York v. Diginex Limited, a cryptocurrency exchange and trading platform described in the complaint as "a Singapore company whose principal place of business is in Hong Kong, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Austria: Paxful.com

Application for the appointment of a Commissioner to collect evidence from cryptocurrency trading platform Paxful.com - pursuant to a request for judicial assistance from Austria - for a criminal investigation into "unknown subjects for fraud" involving "an investment opportunity in Bitcoin via Forex and binary options on an online platform".

Jonathan Lowry et al v. Gabriel Edelman et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging "fraudulent inducement to invest in cryptocurrency followed by embezzlement of that investment" in Jonathan Lowry, individually and derivatively on behalf of Vix Capital Partners LP v. Gabriel Edelman, , described as a resident of New York and Spain; Vix Capital Partners LP, Edelman Blockchain Advisors, Nehemia Markovits, Louis Taubman, Hunter Taubman Rischer & Li LLC, IFM Investors, of Australia; Interactive Brokers, Chen Edelman, described as a resident of New York and Spain, and Jiyson Edelman at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Netherlands: Adam Attahir

Application by the USA to collect evidence from the "Paxful cryptocurrency exchange" - pursuant to a request for judicial assistance from the Netherlands - for a criminal investigation into "Dutch citizen Adam Attahir for fraud and possession of a technical tool designed for committing a crime".

USA v. Stefan Qin: Criminal Judgment

Criminal Judgment imposing a prison-term of seven-and-a-half years for a cryptocurrency-based securities fraud involving two Cayman Islands-domiciled, New York-based investment funds, Virgil Sigma Fund and VQR Multistrategy Fund, in USA v. Stefan He Qin, a citizen of Australia residing in New York, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ryan Cox v. Binance et al: Class Action Complaint

Class Action Complaint in Ryan Cox v. CoinMarketCap OpCo LLC, described as Delaware company that operates "a coin ranking site"; Binance Capital Management Co. Ltd., d.b.a. Binance and Binance.com, described as the operator of "a cryptocurrency exchange"; BAM Trading Services Inc., d.b.a. Binance.us; Changpeng Zhao, apparently a citizen of Canada and China; Catherine Coley, Yi He, and Ted Lin at the U. S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

Jingjing Zhou v. Youbi Capital (Cayman) GP et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract in Jingjing Zhou, of Connecticut v. Youbi Capital (Cayman) GP, of the Cayman Islands; Yaofei Chen, of New Jersey; Hyejin Lee, of New Jersey, and Chen Li, of New York, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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.

Think Capital Ltd.: Public Warning

Public Warning by the Bermuda Monetary Authority against Think Capital Limited, part of the "ThinkMarkets group of companies", which "falsely claimed to have a licence issued by the Bermuda Monetary Authority" and which, when contacted by the BMA, claimed that "the statement was made in error and that, instead, it should have stated that it had been issued a licence by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority". Editor's Note: On its website at www.thinkmarkets.com, ThinkMarkets claims to operate "a premium multi-asset online brokerage with headquarters in London and Melbourne and hubs in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe and South America", and identifies group companies as: TF Global Markets Int Limited, of the Seychelles; TF Global Markets (UK) Limited, of England; TF Global Markets (Aust) Limited, of Australia; TF Global Markets (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd., of South Africa; Think Capital Limited, of Bermuda, and TFG (Payments) Limited, of England. Research by OffshoreAlert also discovered other group companies, including one in the Cayman Islands called TF Global Markets (International) Ltd., which is identified on CIMA's website as receiving a "Securities - Full" license on April 12th, 2021.

Huobi (Thailand) Co. Ltd.: License Revocation Proposal

Public Announcement by the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission that its Board "has resolved to propose that Minister of Finance consider revocation of digital asset exchange license of Huobi (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (Huobi), currently named DSDAQ (Thailand) Co., Ltd." and ordered the company "to return all assets to its clients".

Treis Blockchain v. John Chain et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging "greed, theft, and dishonesty" involving "immersion cooling systems for crypto-currency and certain blockchain applications" in Treis Blockchain LLC v. John Chain and Chain Enterprises LLC at the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.
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SEC sues BitConnect for ‘$2B crypto fraud’

The U.S. SEC has sued individuals and companies based in California, India, and Hong Kong for allegedly perpetrating a $2 billion crypto fraud known as BitConnect.

USA v. Stefan Qin: USA’s Sentencing Submission

USA's Sentencing Submission regarding a cryptocurrency-based investment fraud involving Cayman Islands-domiciled, New York-based investment funds in USA v. Stefan He Qin, a citizen of Australia residing in New York, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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.

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.
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Michael McDaid v. Novus Fintech Ltd.: Judgment

Judgment regarding an employment dispute in Michael McDaid v. Novus Fintech Limited, of Dubai, at the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts. Editor's Note: Novus Fintech Limited was exposed as a fraud by OffshoreAlert in February 2021. The company is operated by United Kingdom national Stuart Coles and is part of a group whose principals include British/Irish serial investment fraudster Richard Fagan.

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.

FinCEN v. BitMEX et al: $100M Fine

Public Notice by FinCEN that it has imposed a fine of $100 million on HDR Global Trading Limited, of the Seychelles; 100x Holdings Limited, ABS Global Trading Limited, of Delaware; Shine Effort Inc. Limited, of Hong Kong, and HDR Global Services (Bermuda) Limited, of Bermuda, d.b.a. BitMEX, described as "a convertible virtual currency derivatives exchange".

BitMEX agrees to pay $100M to settle US regulatory action

Companies in Bermuda, Hong Kong, the Seychelles, and USA have agreed to pay $100 million to settle a complaint by the CFTC alleging they operated an unregistered cryptocurrency trading platform known as BitMEX.

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".

Blockchain Credit Partners: Directors

Director Details for Blockchain Credit Partners, d.b.a. DeFi Money Market, obtained from the Cayman Islands General Registry on August 6th, 2021.

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.

GBM Global Holding Company Ltd. v. Unidentified Individuals: Petition

Emergency Petition for a Temporary Restraining Order involving cryptocurrency and "an illegal attack by a malicious actor that has recently been carrying out block re-organisation attacks" on a network called Bitcoin Satoshi Vision in GBM Global Holding Company Limited, of the Cayman Islands v. Unidentified Individuals at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Donald Ramsey v. Coinbase Global Inc. et al: Class Action Complaint

Class Action Complaint alleging "Offering Materials were inaccurate and misleading" and "contained untrue statements of material facts" in Donald Ramsey v. Coinbase Global Inc., of Delaware, described as "the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States"; Brian Armstrong, Alesia J. Haas, Jennifer N. Jones, Surojit Chatterjee, Paul Grewal, Marc L. Andreessen, Frederick Ernest Ehrsam III, Kathryn Haun, Kelly Kramer, Gokul Rajaram, Fred Wilson, AH Capital Management LLC, Paradigm Fund LP, Ribbit Management Company LLC, Tiger Global Management LLC, Tiger Global Management LLC, Union Square Ventures LLC, and Viserion Investment Pte Ltd., of Singapore, at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

USA v. 60 Bitcoins: Forfeiture Complaint

Forfeiture Complaint regarding the "proceeds of a wire fraud scheme to steal, among other things, cryptocurrency using a cell phone SIM-swapping scheme" that allegedly involved Colton Jurisic, Ricky Handschumacher, and Conor Freeman in USA v. 60.20371501 Bitcoins at the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Daniel Ocampo v. Dfinity Stiftung et al: Class Action Complaint

Class Action Complaint "on behalf of all investors who purchased Internet Computer Project tokens" alleging that the defendants "sold unregistered securities to investors in violation of the Securities Act" in Daniel Ocampo v. Dfinity USA Research LLC, of Delaware; Dfinity Stiftung, of Switzerland; Andreessen Horowitz, described as Menlo Park, California-based "private venture capital firm"; Polychain Capital, described as a San Francisco-based "cryptocurrency investment firm managing portfolios of digital assets", and Dominic Williams at the Superior Court of the State of California, San Mateo County.

Coinschedule Ltd.: $201K Penalties

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing penalties totaling $201,688 on Blotics Ltd., formerly doing business as Coinschedule Ltd., described as a United Kingdom-domiciled company that "owned and operated a once-popular website platform, www.coinschedule.com, that publicized current and upcoming offerings for different digital tokens and was accessible in the United States from 2016 to August 2019", for promoting a security without disclosing that it received compensation for doing so.

SingularDTV GmbH v. John Doe: Complaint

Complaint alleging fraud and computer hacking in SingularDTV GmbH, described as a New York-based Swiss company "that uses blockchain technology to create a decentralized distribution ecosystem for the entertainment and film industries" v. John Doe at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Gustavo Lopez v. Uulala Inc.: Judgment

Judgment for $700,000, plus interest, in Gustavo Lopez v. Uulala Inc. at the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles. Editor's Note: The Uulala Group became the first applicant to be approved for an Initial Coin Offering in Bermuda in October, 2018, with Bermuda's Premier, David Burt, recording a video for the group that it used for promotional purposes on its website. Uulala was exposed by OffshoreAlert in January, 2019.

SEC v. Eric Watson et al: Complaint

Complaint in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Eric J. Watson, described as "a New Zealand citizen and believed to be a resident of London, United Kingdom"; Oliver-Barret Lindsay, described as "a Canadian citizen and resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada" and, during the relevant period, "principal of CMGT Capital Management, a Cayman Islands-exempt broker-dealer registered with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority", and Gannon Giguiere, described as a resident of Newport Coast, California" who "owned and operated TheMoneyStreet.com, a stock promotion website", at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.