The SEC Just Froze One ICO’s Accounts for a Second Time

Jun 20, 2018 at 15:31 UTC
Updated Jun 20, 2018 at 17:30 UTC
NEWS

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is once again taking action against a co-founder of the PlexCoin cryptocurrency project, having previously sued him for securities violations and fraud in 2017.

On June 15, the SEC obtained an emergency court order – unsealed on June 18 – to freeze the assets of Dominic Lacroix, who the agency called “a recidivist Quebec securities law violator” over his previous attempt to launch a token sale, or initial coin offering (ICO) – one officials have declared a “full-fledged cyber scam.”

Last December, Lacroix, the project’s other co-founder Sabrina Paradis-Royer, and their firm PlexCorp, were sued for securities fraud and had their assets frozen in a similar emergency order.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, PlexCorp was believed to have raised $15 million from thousands of investors through the ICO, of which the SEC said $810,000 was deposited with payment processor Stripe. However, an unknown amount was thought to remain in cryptocurrency wallets controlled by the firm.

According to an SEC litigation release dated Wednesday, the latest request for an asset order – filed at a federal court in New York City – alleges that Lacroix has been tapping into those funds since the previous freeze.

The agency said:

“Lacroix had been using secret accounts, including an account in his brother’s name but which he controlled, to improperly dissipate for personal use digital assets obtained from investors during the PlexCoin Initial Coin Offering.”

Aside from the SEC’s 2017 actions against the project and its founders, a Canadian court ordered a two-month jail sentence against Lacroix and $100,000 in fines against his company for contempt of court.

In today’s release, the SEC said it is also seeking an officer-and-director bar for Lacroix and a bar from offering digital securities against both Lacroix and Paradis-Royer.

Ice cubes image via Shuttersock

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