- SEC announced a court order to halt an ongoing ICO fraud
- Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure allegedly raised as much as $21 million from investors
- How to prevent falling victim to a fraudulent ICO scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on May 29 that it had obtained a court order halting ongoing fraud involving an initial coin offering (ICO). “This ICO was based on a social media marketing blitz that allegedly deceived investors with purely fictional claims of business prospects,” Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, stated in a news release. Cohen encourages investors to be cautious when considering ICO investments, as he has filed multiple similar cases.
In this case, Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc., the firm behind the alleged scheme, raised as much as $21 million from investors in and outside the U.S. Titanium President Michael Alan Stollery, also known as Michael Stollaire, is a self-described “blockchain evangelist” who allegedly lied about business relationships, promoted the ICO through videos and social media and fabricated testimonials from corporate customers published on Titanium’s website. The court approved an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for Titanium. Stollery and Titanium have been charged with violating antifraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. EHI Internetwork and Systems Management Inc., another Stollaire company, has also been charged with violating the antifraud provisions. The SEC’s investigation is ongoing.
Before investing in ICOs it is important to thoroughly research them. To help prevent investors from falling victim to fraudulent ICOs, the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has created an investor bulletin and a mock ICO website. The bulletin, found at http://ccw.fm/i2MA3, gives a brief description of ICOs, blockchain and virtual currency. It identifies key points to consider before participating in an ICO, questions to ask and the risks involved.
If you have invested in the Titanium ICO and believe that you may be a victim, contact the SEC through www.SEC.gov/tcr and reference SEC v. Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 18-4315 (C.D. Cal).
To read the full press release, visit SEC Obtains Emergency Order Halting Fraudulent Coin Offering Scheme at http://ccw.fm/B4hBy.
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