US SEC Seeks Sanctions Against Crypto Scam PlexCoin
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking sanctions against the individuals behind the allegedly fraudulent ICO known as PlexCoin, Finance Feeds reports September 26.
The SEC has been involved in ongoing court proceedings against the owners of the associated firm PlexCorps — Dominic Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Royer — at the New York Eastern District Court since December 2017. The SEC’s initial complaint had charged the pair with violating securities law in respect to PlexCorps’ PlexCoin ICO in August 2017.
The complaint had accused Lacroix — whom it called “a recidivist securities law violator in Canada” — and his partner of “misappropriating” investor funds that were “illegally” raised in a misleading, deceptive, and unregistered securities offering. The PlexCoin ICO is alleged to have raised over $15 million from “thousands of investors,” reportedly promising investors a 1,354 % return in just 29 days.
In the ensuing months, the regulator has twice sued Lacroix for securities fraud and issued 2 emergency asset freeze orders against him.
According to the SEC, the duo have continued to ignore a succession of Court orders concerning the “discovery, accounting […] and repatriation of assets.” The regulator therefore chose to file a motion to compel and a motion for discovery sanctions against the duo yesterday, Sept. 25.
The ignored injunctions are said to have included a court order from December 2017 that enjoined the defendants to produce — within 3 business days — “a sworn verified written accounting” reflecting the amounts and locations of investor assets raised from the PlexCoin ICO, and to “immediately” transfer to the registry of the Court all assets “derived from PlexCoin or PlexCoin Tokens or PlexCorps”.
The SEC has current week argued that the defendants demonstrate no intention of “participating meaningfully” in the ongoing litigation, and could potentially employ a deferral strategy “indefinitely, including potentially after the entry of a preliminary injunction.” The SEC has reportedly noted that such a persistent failure to comply with court demands could further facilitate the pair’s potential dissipation of investor assets.
In a recent high-profile development for the crypto regulatory landscape in the U.S., a New York federal judge has ruled this month that securities laws are applicable for dealing with crypto fraud allegations.