A February 2018 trial date has been set for a civil trial pitting the SEC against infamous cryptocurrency entrepreneur Homero “Josh” Garza, founder of controversial companies including GAW Miners and ZenMiner.
The update is the latest in a case that stems back to 2015, when the SEC alleges that Garza and GAW operated a Ponzi scheme in which investors were sold fraudulent “cloud mining contracts” with the promise of receiving profit distributions.
Thus far, Garza has refused to answer questions regarding the allegations, preferring to exercise his Fifth Amendment right to non-incrimination. The court has given Garza and his counsel Marjorie Peerce until 7th May to file any motions regarding the direction of the case.
Likewise, the SEC has until 7th August to gather evidence supporting the claims filed against Garza and his companies.
The SEC is now seeking a cease to all cryptocurrency related activities by Garza and his companies, as well as to disgorge profits from the scheme. Both the SEC and Garza will each provide up to 10 depositions for the case, including expert witness testimony regarding the actions of GAW Miners and ZenMiner.
At this point, there is still the possibility that Garza and his attorneys could decide to settle with the SEC outside of US District Court.
Notably, Garza is also a defendant in a separate civil lawsuit brought upon by disgruntled investors but he was recently dismissed, according to documents filed in District Court.
That suit claims Garza and co-defendant, Cantor Fitzgerald investment banker Stuart Fraser bilked investors out of nearly $10m through the cloud mining contract scheme.
A judge has denied a motion by Fraser to dismiss the suit.