Regulators File Cease and Desist Against Craigslist Scam Promising 900% Crypto Returns

Daniel Kuhn
Aug 8, 2019 at 18:30 UTC
news

Officials in Texas have filed a cease and desist letter against a cryptocurrency promoter for posting misleading advertisements on Craigslist.

This represents the fourth emergency action taken against a cryptocurrency firm since the Enforcement Division of the State Securities Board restarted a sweeping investigation of the industry in June.

According to a statement published August 7, the New York-based Forex and Bitcoin Trader advertised 900 percent gains for two week investments. The firm stated a $2,000 investment in cryptocurrencies, foreign currencies, or commodity-based derivatives would see returns of $20,000, not including fees, through their guidance.

The firm also claimed to be a licensed broker-dealer with an insurance policy and sufficient capital to guarantee returns.

Investigators found the company is not registered as either a dealer or agent with the state’s Securities Commissioner. Additionally, the firm had not supplied information regarding its purported insurance policy.

The Securities Board first launched a regulatory sweep of the crypto industry amid the market exuberance of late 2017. Though the pace of emergency actions slowed in the following year, the watchdog has found “the number of suspect cryptocurrency offerings being promoted to Texas investors increase along with the run-up in the price of cryptocurrencies and volatility in the cryptocurrency markets.”

To date, the agency has filed 24  administrative orders involving 62 individuals and entities, including an Australia-based cloud mining firm, a faux crypto exchange, and a crypto promoter who duped investors with falsified endorsements from the likes of Jennifer Anniston, Prince Charles, and former Finland prime minister Matti Vanhanen.

Texas flag via Shutterstock