Coinme, Subsidiary and CEO Fined $4M by SEC Over UpToken Offering

The bitcoin kiosk company, its subsidiary Up Global and the CEO of both entities were accused of conducting "unregistered offers and sales of securities."

AccessTimeIconMay 1, 2023 at 9:08 a.m. UTC
Updated May 1, 2023 at 2:32 p.m. UTC
Drive the Crypto Policy Conversation Forward
October 24, 2023 • Convene • Washington D.C.Where the industry establishes the digital economy’s legal, regulatory and compliance best practices for the future.Register Now

Bitcoin (BTC) kiosk company Coinme has agreed to pay nearly $4 million to settle charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging it was party to an unregistered security offering, the regulator announced Friday.

Coinme, its subsidiary Up Global SEZC and the CEO of both entities, Neil Bergquist, were all named in the order for allegedly running a crypto fundraiser known as an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017 for "UpToken." The SEC accused the parties of "making false and misleading statements concerning the demand for UpToken and the amount raised in the offering."

The order is the latest in a string of enforcement actions and heavy fines by the securities regulator that has forced some firms to shutter all or part of their operations.

The SEC alleged Bergquist and Up Global worked to obtain UpToken supply "that would substantially reduce Coinme's need to purchase UpToken" following the ICO, leading to "publicly inflated amounts raised."

To settle the charges, Up Global agreed to pay a $3,520,000 penalty, while Coinme agreed to pay a separate $250,000 penalty and Bergquist agreed to pay $150,000, according to the regulator.

"The SEC order also bars Bergquist, for a period of three years, from acting as an officer or director of a public company," the announcement said.

CoinDesk has reached out to Coinme for comment.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.