Author: Wang Yanhua
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which holds primary responsibility for enforcing federal securities laws and regulating the nation’s stock exchanges, obtained a court order halting an allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) on 29 May.
The company allegedly broke laws imposed by federal securities in a USD 21 million cryptocurrency trading scam.
The ICO, Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services (TBIS), fabricated testimonials shown on its website and promoted fake statements of investment opportunities.
According to the complaint that SEC filed, TBIS gained traders’ trust with the help of fabricated data and testimonials.
“This ICO was based on a social media marketing blitz that allegedly deceived investors with purely fictional claims of business prospects. Having filed multiple cases involving allegedly fraudulent ICOs, we again encourage investors to be especially cautious when considering these as investments,” Chief Robert Cohen from SEC said.
Michael Alan Stollery (also known as Michael Stollaire), the President of TBIS, was accused of making false and misleading claims about the company’s business affairs with a number of well-known financial market players, including the Federal Reserve, PayPal, Verizon, Boeing, and even The Walt Disney Company.
Stollery is also a self-proclaimed “blockchain evangelist”.
According to the SEC, the USD 21 million dollars could be gathered in the period from November 2017 to January 2018. Stollery also fell under suspicion of spending a portion of the illicitly-raised funds on footing the bill for a condominium in Hawaii.
The court approved an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for TBIS.