On Friday, December 1, 2017, the SEC filed an emergency action in federal district court in Brooklyn alleging that Dominic Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Roger, both from Quebec, Canada, raised approximately $15 million in a purported fraudulent unregistered Initial Coin Offering (ICO) involving PlexCoin. In its complaint, the SEC alleged that a recidivist Quebec securities law violator, Dominic Lacroix, and his company, PlexCorps, had raised millions from investors since August 2017 by promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month. In addition to filing the action, the SEC sought and obtained an asset freeze. Read the SEC press release here.
This action comes on the heels of a similar type of action filed by the SEC involving ICOs purportedly backed by investments in real estate and diamonds. In that case, the SEC alleged that Maksim Zaslavskly touted REcoin as the first ever cryptocurrency backed by real estate. Zaslavskly allegedly told investors that he had a team of lawyers, professionals, brokers and accountants that would invest REcoin’s ICO proceeds into real estate. In reality, according to the SEC, no such operations existed and Zaslavskly never hired or even consulted any professionals. Similar to PlexCoin case, the SEC sought and obtained an emergency court order freezing the assets of Zaslavskly and his companies. Read the SEC press release here.
Both of these actions reflect aggressive filings by the SEC for those involved in unregistered fraudulent ICOs. Stay tuned as the Enforcement Division may be gearing up for further action.