The chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, has issued a statement “applaud[ing]” the efforts of authorities associated with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) in executing the current “enforcement sweep targeting fraudulent ICOs and crypto-asset investment products.”
SEC Chairman Commends Regulators Involved in ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep’
SEC chairman Jay Clayton has “applaud[ed]” his “fellow regulators in the United States and Canada who are coordinating and participating in efforts to police fraud in the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) markets.”
“The enforcement actions being announced by NASAA should be a strong warning to would-be fraudsters in this space that many sets of eyes are watching, and that regulators are coordinating on an international level to take strong actions to deter and stop fraud,” Mr. Clayton said.
The “efforts” referred to by Mr. Clayton have seen more than 40 North American state and provincial regulators participate in ‘Operation Crypto-Sweep’ – an “enforcement sweep” targeting fraudulent ICOs and crypto investment schemes which has resulted in over 70 investigations thus far.
NASAA Describes ICO Fraud as ‘Threat to Main Street Investors”
The SEC chairman sought to take a firm stance regarding the issuance of unlicensed securities through an ICO, stating that “When investors are offered and sold securities, whether through traditional channels or through an ICO on a sales-oriented website, state and federal securities laws apply. These laws have applied to our securities markets for over 80 years. At their core, these laws require full and fair disclosures of material information about both the securities and the venture being funded. Unfortunately, some market participants seem to believe that the use of new technology provides a basis for ignoring the core principles of our securities laws.”
Of Operation Crypto-Sweep, NASAA President and Director of the Alabama Securities Commission, Joseph Borg, recently stated: “The persistently expanding exploitation of the crypto ecosystem by fraudsters is a significant threat to Main Street investors in the United States and Canada, and NASAA members are committed to combating this threat. Despite a series of public warnings from securities regulators at all levels of government, cryptocriminals need to know that state and provincial securities regulators are taking swift and effective action to protect investors from their schemes and scams.”
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