Widespread Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Scams By Regulators




FILE PHOTO: Representations of the Litecoin, Etherum and Bitcoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, May 21, 2018

U.S. and Canadian state securities regulators are launching a widespread crackdown on some cryptocurrency investment schemes, member of the North American Securities Administrators Association said on Monday. The body said they have launched a dozen investigations into cryptocurrency scams.

According to The Washington Post, this is the largest coordinated cryptocurrency crackdown to date by state and provincial officials of its kind.

Dubbed " Operation Crypto-Sweep," The investigations, some of which have already concluded, are aimed at unregistered securities offerings and initial coin offerings that promise significant returns without informing investors of the risks.

The probe consists of "nearly 70 inquiries and investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions since the beginning of the month." The task force will be headed by the NASAA along with state and provincial regulators.

Regulators have already sent cease and desist letters to several alleged schemes, including websites that relied on fake addresses and photos to appear legitimate when seeking investors. Officials said there will be additional enforcement actions to come against companies looking to defraud cryptocurrency investors.

"The actions we've taken to date are just the tip of the iceberg," said Joe Borg, NASAA president, and director of the Alabama Securities Commission.

Regulators invited the public to come forward with additional potential scams, while urging investors to be vigilant in seeking investments in the new arena.

The move comes on the heels of a wall street journal analysis of 1,450 cryptocurrency offerings that revealed rampant scams. There were at least 271 initial coin offerings with red flags that include plagiarized investor documents, promises of guaranteed returns, and missing or fake executive teams.




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