Texas regulators are going after a host of crypto firms they allege to be investment scams, 10 of which they say are are controlled by a single Texas man.

The Texas State Securities Board on Thursday ordered 15 firms to cease and desist operations with a series of emergency orders against crypto, forex and binary options hubs that purport to be based in Texas.

Ten firms are named in the first order: Proactive Expert Trading, Reliable Miners, BitcoinFX Options, Sure Trade Earnings, CryptoTradeFXWay, Proactive ExpertTrade, ReliableFX Internal Trade, MaxFX Internal Trade, AntPoolTop Mining and ExpertTrades247. Regulators say one man, James Blundell, pumped all 10 on social media.

Three are named in the second: Binary Trade Forex, FX Trades and IQTrade. Regulators say the trio are not registered to sell securities in Texas. They’re peddling highly lucrative, low risk investing options – at least according to the customer testimonials, which TSSB alleges are fake.

One firm, a crypto binary option and forex investment platform called GenuisPlanFxPro, is named in the third. Regulators say GenuisPlanFxPro falsely claims to hold a handful of international financial licenses.

TSSB officials alleged a common thread across all 15 firms is their savvy use of social media to draw investors in and drain them dry.

“Bad actors know how to use social media and internet websites to create the pretense of legitimate operations. They can also use this technology to quickly reach large numbers of potential victims,” said Enforcement Director Joe Rotunda in a statement.

“Their websites often go dark, social media often goes dormant and fraudsters often disappear. In many cases, the money is gone.”

Disclosure
The leader in blockchain news, 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.