Bitcoin 

US FTC Settles With Alleged Crypto Pyramid Scheme for $500,000

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled charges it filed in 2018 against an alleged crypto pyramid scheme involving four individuals. Terms of settlement According to an official statement on Aug. 22, the regulator permanently banned the defendants from multi-level marketing and misrepresenting investment opportunities and charged a total of over $500,000 as part of the settlement. In March 2018, the FTC first obtained a court order against Thomas Dluca, Eric Pinkston, Louis Gatto and Scott Chandler that stopped their misleading marketing practices and froze their assets. At…

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Blockchain 

ICO Rating Settles With SEC Over Alleged Anti-Touting Violations

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Russian analytical agency ICO Rating for $268,998 for violating anti-touting provisions, according to an announcement on Aug. 20. In the announcement, the SEC claimed that ICO Rating violated the anti-touting provisions of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 by failing to disclose payments it received from initial coin offering (ICO) issuers it rated and published on its platform. Melissa Hodgman, Associate Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said: “The securities laws require promoters, including both people and entities,…

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Blockchain 

SEC Requests Freeze on Assets in Connection With Alleged $15M ICO Fraud

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against a New York-based man and two of his companies. The SEC alleges that these entities conducted a fraudulent and unregistered ICO from late 2017 to 2018, and is requesting that a U.S. District Court issue an emergency freeze on the defendants’ related assets.  Hindenburg Research shared the SEC’s filing for a jury trial in a post on Aug. 12. According to the document, the commission is formally filing a complaint against Reginald Middleton, the New York company…

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Ethereum 

Alleged Silk Road Drug Dealer Arrested in the United States

United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman announced the arrest of alleged dark web drug dealer Hugh Brian Haney in a press release published on July 18. Per the release, Haney has been charged with money laundering. He allegedly used cryptocurrency to launder more than $19 million of profits earned selling illegal drugs on the now-defunct darknet market Silk Road. Berman commented to the development: “Today’s arrest should be a warning to dealers peddling their drugs on the dark web that they cannot remain…

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Bitcoin 

U.S. Authorities Seek Extradition of Alleged Crypto Scammer

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has unsealed a fraud complaint against Swedish citizen Roger Nils-Jonas Karlsson and associated firm Eastern Metal Securities (EMS), according to a press release on June 19. According to the DoJ Karlsson and EMS are charged with committing securities fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Specifically, Karlsson allegedly instructed investors to pay for his products using virtual currencies, such as the cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC). According to the complaint, the EMS website was registered to a made-up person, and offered shares of “Pre Funded Reversed…

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Blockchain 

Rwanda’s Central Bank Issues PSA on Alleged Cryptocurrency Get-Rich-Quick Scams

The National Bank of Rwanda, the country’s central bank, has issued a public service announcement on alleged cryptocurrency scams, according to an official Twitter post on May 30. The central bank specifically warns the public about initial coin offering (ICO) scams and crypto-based Ponzi schemes, which purport to offer a quick and significant return on investment for early adopters. These sorts of scams have reportedly been active in Rwanda, through firms like Supermarketings Global Ltd, 3 Friends System (3FS) Group Ltd, OneCoin, and Kwakoo (OnyxCoin). The National Bank of Rwanda…

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Bitcoin 

Russian Police Arrest Alleged Creator of Large Crypto Pyramid Scheme From Kazakhstan

Police in Russia have arrested an alleged creator of a crypto pyramid scheme from Kazakhstan who was facing an international arrest warrant, Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOI) officially reported on May 28. The unnamed detainee is reportedly accused of defrauding investors using a scam crypto scheme promising high returns from crypto investments, involving a group of criminals. The MOI reported at least 300 fraud cases allegedly connected with the pyramid scheme, with one of the investors having reportedly lost around 14 million Kazakhstan tenge ($36,700) to the criminals. According…

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Blockchain 

German Watchdog Warns Public About Alleged Hiring by Crypto Exchange CoinBene

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Germany’s financial regulator, has issued a public warning about cryptocurrency exchange CoinBene on May 28. The watchdog says that CoinBene has been recruiting freelance crypto traders who get paid on commission. BaFin states that since crypto assets are financial instruments, trading them requires authorization under Germany’s Banking Act, or Kreditwesengesetz (KWG). BaFin states that CoinBene is not listed in Germany’s commercial register and has not obtained proper licensure for trading crypto assets as required by the KWG. CoinBene has previously responded to inquiries regarding…

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Blockchain 

Top Banks Alleged to Be Investing $50 Million in Digital Cash Settlement Project

Sources ostensibly familiar with the matter have claimed that some of the world’s leading banks are currently investing around $50 million to build a blockchain-powered digital cash system for transaction settlement. The news was reported by Reuters on May 17. An earlier project for a blockchain-based currency settlement coin was unveiled by Swiss bank UBS Group AG and London-based technology startup Clearmatics at early as 2015, as Cointelegraph reported at the time. One of Reuters’ sources has said that the latest development involves around a dozen major banks investing in…

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Blockchain 

Institute Sues Professor for Alleged Blockchain Intellectual Property Violation

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology has filed a civil suit against a faculty member for allegedly establishing of a zero knowledge proof technology company and making use of the knowledge developed by him while working at the institute. The news was published by local media outlet Calcalist on April 22. The Technion has filed a suit against senior lecturer Prof. Eli Ben-Sasson with the Haifa District Court for allegedly violating the institute’s intellectual property rules. Per the lawsuit, Ben-Sasson founded a company dubbed Starkware with a doctoral student at…

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