Regulatory

Centurion Administration Ltd.: £52K Settlement

Public Notice announcing that Centurion Administration Limited has agreed to pay £52,500 to settle a regulatory investigation by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.

SEC v. Simon Thurlow et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging fraud in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Simon Piers Thurlow, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom residing in New York; Roger Leon Fidler, Richard Oravec, Bradley Fidler, Bryce Emory Boucher, Joseph D. Jordan, and Western Bankers Capital Inc. at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

CFTC v. Rudy Avila et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging a $5.35 million investment fraud in Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Rudy Avila, a.k.a. Jose Rodolfo Avila Gutierrez, described as a resident of Texas; The L.I.F.T Group LLC, of Texas; CIG Internacional SA, a.k.a. Commodity Investment Group, a.k.a. CIG Internacional, a.k.a. CIG International, of Costa Rica; Trading Technologies Group SA, of Costa Rica; Trading Ventures Group LLC, described as a Texas company that claimed to have offices in Texas and London, England; Capital Ventures Group LLC, of Texas, and Ventures Group LLC, of Texas, at the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Roderick Caruana: €61K Fine

Public Notice by the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit that it has imposed a fine of €61,573 on Dr. Roderick Caruana for regulatory breaches.

Belight Capital Group Ltd.: License Revocation

Public Announcement by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission that it has revoked the license of Belight Capital Group Ltd. for regulatory breaches. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert at the Cyprus Registrar of Companies showed that the sole director of Belight Capital Group Ltd. was identified as Robert Ryan Porter.

D&V Pegasus Real Estate AIF VCIC Plc: License Revocation

Public Notice by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission that it has revoked the license of D&V Pegasus Real Estate AIF VCIC Plc. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert at the Cyprus Registrar of Companies showed that the directors of D&V Pegasus Real Estate AIF VCIC Plc were identified as Gunther Glatzel, Gunter Jurgen Vorbauer, and Andreas Dimitriou, while the company's website at pegasusfm.com identified its "Board of Directors" as "Gunter J Vorbauer - Chairman; Andreas Demetriou - Vice Chairman; Christos Vakis - Member; Dr. Gunther Glatzel - Member", "External Manager" as MFO Asset Management Ltd., "Depositary" as Eurobank Cyprus Ltd., "External Auditors" as KPMG Ltd., "Legal Advisor" as Clerides Anastassiou Neophytou LLC, and "Investment Advisors" as Planet Properties (London) Ltd. and PPM Valuations LLC.

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".

SEC v. Klaus Hofmann: Complaint

Complaint alleging "a multi-year expense management scheme by Kraft Heinz Company's procurement division to improperly reduce KHC's cost of goods sold and achieve costs savings targets that were externally touted to the market and internally tied to performance-based targets" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Klaus Hofmann, of Zug, Switzerland, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
satish-kumbhani

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.

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.

Pilatus Bank Plc: €4.9M Fine

Public Notice by the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit that it has imposed a fine of €4.9 million on Pilatus Bank Plc for regulatory breaches.

SEC v. Howard Kleyman: Complaint

Complaint alleging securities fraud involving a "prime bank" scheme and entities in the Dominican Republic, Panama, United Kingdom, and USA in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Howard Kleyman, described as a lawyer in Minnesota at the timeof the alleged offense, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

SEC v. Howard Kleyman: Motion for Judgment

Motion for Entry of Final Judgment regarding an allegedly fraudulent scheme involving entities in the Dominican Republic, Panama, United Kingdom, and USA in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Howard Kleyman at the U. S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

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.

Hawksford Trust Company Jersey Ltd.: Public Statement

Public Statement by Jersey Financial Services Commission that it has "concluded" that Hawksford Trust Company Jersey Limited "breached certain principles" of the Financial Services (Trust Company Business (Assets - Customer Money)) (Jersey) Order 2000 and Code of Practice for Trust Company Business. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert in the Jersey corporate register showed that Hawksford Trust Company Jersey Limited was incorporated in Jersey on August 8th, 1963 and, in its 2020 annual return, signed by director Darren Kelland, its sole shareholder was identified as Hawksford Group Holdings Limited, which was incorporated in Jersey on May 15th, 2017 and, in its 2020 annual return, its sole shareholder was identified as Hawksford Holdings Limited, which was incorporated in Jersey on August 12th, 2008 and, in its 2020 annual return, its shareholders were identified as Dunedin Buyout Fund II LP, a private equity fund in Scotland; Dunedin (SAPE) GP Nominees Limited, acting as nominee for Equity Harvest Fund LP, of Scotland; Michael Edmund Powell, Louis Philip Chetwynd Taylor, James Webster Howe, Boota Singh Kular, Stephen David John Spybey, all of Jersey; Jacqueline Anne Low, of Singapore; Matthew Andrew Wilkinson, Daniel Richard Hainsworth, Gerardus Jan Michel van Leeuwen, Stephen Spybey and Gerardus van Leeuwen, as Trustees of the Hawksford Holdings Limited EBTl Darren Thomas Kelland, all of Jersey; Stefano Passarello, of Hong Kong; Dario Acconci, of Singapore; Marta Giordano, of Hong Kong; Giacomo Stoppa, of Hong Kong; Peter Zhu, of China, and Aldford Street Nominees Limited, of England.

SEC v. Carl Jensen et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging "an ongoing offering fraud" involving "Chinese and Mexican and bearer bonds" that "has raised over $7 million from more than 75 investors" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Carl Jensen, described as a citizen of Canada residing in Australia, and Stephen W. Gold, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom residing in California, as Defendants, and Kerry Margolis, described as a citizen of the United States residing in Germany, and Michael Hock, described as a citizen of the United States residing in California, as Relief Defendants, at the U. S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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.

Magna Group: Forced Liquidation

Press Release from the United Kingdom's Insolvency Service announcing that it "shut down" seven "mini-bond companies" that were part of Magna Group as a result of the "mis-selling of over £20m of loan notes".

Murchinson Ltd. et al: $9M Settlement

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission stating that Murchinson Ltd., of Toronto, Canada; Marc Bistricer, and Paul Zogala, described as citizens and residents of Canada, have agreed to pay penalties totaling $9 million to settle a regulatory investigation that, inter alia, involved an unidentified Bermuda "hedge fund".

SEC v. Douglas Drennan: Judgment Application

SEC's Application for an Order Compelling Respondent Douglas F. Drennan to Show Cause Why Judgment Should be Entered Against Him Pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act in a case alleging fraud involving, inter alia, Cayman Islands-domiciled J.S. Oliver Offshore Investments Ltd. in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Douglas F. Drennan at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

Pearson Plc: $1M Fine

Administrative Order by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission imposing a fine of $1 million on Pearson Plc, described as a British publicly-listed "multinational educational publishing and services company", for "material misstatements and omissions regarding a 2018 cyber intrusion that affected several million rows of student data across 13,000 school, district, and university AIMSweb 1.0 customer accounts in the United States".

SEC v. GPL Ventures LLC et al: Asset Freeze Application

Emergency Application for an Asset Freeze Order regarding an allegedly fraudulent scheme that, inter alia, involved accounts in "the Cayman Islands and Canada", in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. GPL Ventures LLC, GPL Management LLC, described in the complaint as Delaware-domiciled, New York-based companies; Alexander J. Dillon, of New Jersey; Cosmin I. Panait, described as a citizen of Romania residing in New York; HempAmericana Inc., described as a Delaware-domiciled, New York-based company; Salvador E. Rosillo, of New York; Seaside Advisors LLC, of New Jersey, and Lawrence B. Adams, of New Jersey, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

SEC v. GPL Ventures LLC et al: Complaint

Complaint "to halt the GPL Defendants' ongoing violations of the dealer registration requirements of the federal securities laws", including alleged fraud, that involves, inter alia, an unidentified "broker in the Cayman Islands" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. GPL Ventures LLC, GPL Management LLC, described as Delaware-domiciled, New York-based companies; Alexander J. Dillon, of New Jersey; Cosmin I. Panait, described as a citizen of Romania residing in New York; HempAmericana Inc., described as a Delaware-domiciled, New York-based company; Salvador E. Rosillo, of New York; Seaside Advisors LLC, of New Jersey, and Lawrence B. Adams, of New Jersey, at the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

London Capital Group (Cyprus) Ltd.: €40K Fine

Public Notice by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission that it has imposed a fine of €40,000 on London Capital Group (Cyprus) Limited for a regulatory breach. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert at the Cyprus Registrar of Companies showed that London Capital Group (Cyprus) Limited was incorporated in Cyprus on June 6th, 2016 and its sole director is Charles Henri Sabet.

Allianz Life Bermuda Ltd.: $1.7M Fine

Press Release by the Bermuda Monetary Authority announcing that it has imposed "civil penalties" totaling $1.7 million on Allianz Life Bermuda Limited for regulatory breaches, including the Proceeds of Crime (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2008, and that the company has agreed to go into liquidation. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert showed that, on the Allianz Group's website, the address for Allianz Life Bermuda Limited is given as "105, Allianz SNA Bldg 56, Jisr el Bacha Hazmieh Beirut, Lebanon P.O.Box: 16-6516".

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".

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.

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.

SEC v. Evarist Amah: Complaint

Complaint alleging fraud in which several of the victims were residents of Nigeria and Italy in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Evarist C. Amah, described as a New York-based investment adviser, 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".

AWS Malta Ltd.: €502K Fine

Public Notice by the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit that it was imposed a fine of €502,046 on AWS Malta Limited for regulatory breaches. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert at the Malta Registrar of Companies showed that AWS Malta Limited was incorporated in Malta on February 12th, 2014, its directors are Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre, a citizen and resident of Malta; Kilian Kämpfen, a citizen and resident of Switzerland; Ivo Ferdinando Mathier, a citizen and resident of Switzerland; Mark Portelli, a citizen and resident of Malta, and Steve Zammit Cutajar, a citizen and resident of Malta; former directors include Francis Zammit Dimech, of Malta, who resigned effective February 28th, 2019; Herman Zandt, a citizen of the Netherlands residing in Malta, who resigned effective March 29th, 2017, and Nelson Lopez Centeno, a citizen of Spain, who resigned effective January 30th, 2017; and its shareholders are Ivo Ferdinando Mathier and AWS Switzerland SA, a Swiss company whose representatives include Ivo Mathier, chairman, and Kilian Kämpfen, while a former representative is Urs Füglistaller.

Tintra AIF VCIC Ltd.: License Revocation

Public Notice by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission announcing that it has withdrawn the authorization of five "Investments Compartments" of Tintra AIF Variable Capital Investment Company Ltd., an Alternative Investment Fund, because "the minimum assets were not raised within the extended timeframe". Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert at the Cyprus Registrar of Companies showed that Tintra AIF Variable Capital Investment Company Ltd. was incorporated in Cyprus on July 4th, 2016 and its sole director is Richard Shearer, of the United Kingdom.

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. Frederick Sharp et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging "a sophisticated, multiyear, multi-national attack on the United States financial markets and retail United States investors by foreign and domestic actors" in which the defendants "schemed to sell fraudulently hundreds of millions of dollars in stocks in the United States markets" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Frederick L. Sharp, described as a citizen of the United States; Zhiying Yvonne Gasarch, a.k.a. Zhiying Chen, described as a dual citizen of Canada and China; Courtney Kelln, Mike K. Veldhuis, described as a citizen of the Netherlands; Paul Sexton, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom; Jackson T. Friesen, Graham R. Taylor, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom, all residents of British Columbia, Canada; William T. Kaitz, of Maryland, and Avtar S. Dhillon, described as a citizen of Canada residing in Long Beach, California, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

SEC v. Frederick Sharp et al: Asset Freeze Motion

SEC's Ex Parte Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Frederick L. Sharp, described in the complaint as a citizen of the United States; Zhiying Yvonne Gasarch, a.k.a. Zhiying Chen, described as a dual citizen of Canada and China; Courtney Kelln, Mike K. Veldhuis, described as a citizen of the Netherlands; Paul Sexton, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom; Jackson T. Friesen, Graham R. Taylor, described as a citizen of the United Kingdom, all residents of British Columbia, Canada; William T. Kaitz, of Maryland, and Avtar S. Dhillon, described as a citizen of Canada residing in Long Beach, California, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

SEC v. Luis Carrillo: Asset Freeze Motion

SEC's Motion for Asset Freeze Order regarding "assets belonging to, controlled by, or used for the benefit of, defendant Luis Jimenez Carrillo" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Luis Jimenez Carrillo, described as a citizen and resident of Mexico, a former citizen of the United States, a former attorney and "a securities law recidivist"; Amar Bahadoorsingh, a dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom; Justin Roger Wall, and Jamie Samuel Wilson, both of the United Kingdom, as Defendants, and Haydee Yolanda Sanchez Diaz Monge, Martha Y. Jimenez Trust, and Charles A. Carrillo Trust, all of California, as Relief Defendants, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

SEC v. Luis Carrillo et al: Complaint

Complaint alleging securities fraud involving shares in Aureus, Inc., Garmatex Holdings, Ltd., and OneLife Technologies Corp. and "a boiler room based in Medellin, Colombia" in U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Luis Jimenez Carrillo, described as a citizen and resident of Mexico; Amar Bahadoorsingh, described as "a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Canada" residing in Vancouver, Canada; Justin Roger Wall, and Jamie Samuel Wilson, each described as "a citizen and resident of the United Kingdom", as Defendants, and Haydee Yolanda Sanchez Diaz Monge, Martha Y. Jimenez Trust, and Charles A. Carrillo Trust, all of California, as Relief Defendants, at the U. S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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.

CYBERservices ASIA: License Revocation

Public Notice by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission that it has revoked the Payment Intermediary Services Licence of CYBERservices ASIA for regulatory breaches. Editor's Note: Research by OffshoreAlert in the Mauritius Corporate and Business Registration Department showed that CYBERservices ASIA was incorporated in Mauritius on June 7th, 2012 and its directors are Ritesh Kumar Bissessur and Jacques Wensley Caroopen.

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.