A New York businessman charged with defrauding investors in two initial coin offerings (ICOs) plead not guilty in court last week.
As previously reported, Maksim Zaslavskiy was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud just over a month ago. Filings dated Dec. 1 indicate that Zaslavskiy pled not guilty to the charges. And according to a report from Crain's, Zaslavskiy secured a $250,000 bail requirement with a Brooklyn-based property as collateral.
The case against Zaslavskiy is connected to two ICOs – one claimed to have been tied to real estate and the other connected to precious stones – that prosecutors have alleged were fictitious in nature.
"As alleged, Zaslavskiy and his associates enticed investors by promising returns using novel ICOs even though Zaslavskiy knew that no real estate or diamonds were actually backing the investments," acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde said last month.
News that the U.S. government was looking to charge the ICO organizer first broke in September when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges in a separate suit that cited registration and anti-fraud law violations in particular. At the time, the agency secured an asset freeze for two companies tied to the ICOs as well as Zaslavskiy himself.
Additional court filings from Dec. 1 indicate that the U.S. government and Zaslavskiy are discussing a possible plea deal.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.