SEC alleges that company created a fictitious regulatory agency called the “Blockchain Exchange Commission” to aid in misleading investors.
A federal judge imposed a temporary restraining order on a planned Initial Coin Offering and pre-sales of Blockvest BLV tokens.
In an order issued October 5, Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issued an order that freezes the assets of Blockvest LLC and its founder Reginald Buddy Ringgold III and stops the sale of the business’s BLV digital tokens.
The complaint filed by the SEC alleges that defendants Blockvest and Ringgold:
- Falsely claimed that the ICO had been “registered” and “approved” by the SEC, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the National Futures Associated and even used their logos in marketing materialsof the SEC on its website.
- Claimed an association with the Deloitte accounting firm that did not exist.
- Created a fictitious regulatory agency called the “Blockchain Exchange Commission” with its own logo and mission statement that are similar to the SEC’s and that lists its business address as the address of the SEC’s DC headquarters.
“Here, Defendant’s use of the SEC and CFTC’s seals and logos of the NFA and Deloitte create a false appearance of legitimacy for the Blockvest ICO,” wrote Judge Curiel. “Moreover, Defendant’s creation of the BEC, a false “regulator” , to promote the validity of the ICO as regulated is deceptive. Furthermore, the BEC’s adoption of the SEC’s seal, the SEC’s mission statement, the SEC’s headquarters address, and even a link to the SEC’s website created a false appearance that the ICOs are regulated when in fact, they are not.”
Judge Curiel scheduled a hearing in the case for October 18. Copies of the orders are available here: