ICO News: SEC announces subpoena levelled at $100M ICO

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced via a statement released on Tuesday that it has asked a U.S. district court to enforce a subpoena as part of a probe into alleged pump-and-dump tactics that involved claims of a $100 million ICO (initial coin offering).

ICO News: SEC announces subpoena levelled at $100M ICO

According to the October 9 statement, officials at the U.S. regulator are investigating Saint James Holding and Investment Company Trust and its trustee, Jeffrey James, months after the agency first moved to suspend trading in penny-stock company Cherubim Interests, Inc.

The SEC explained that it believes Cherubim lied to investors about its claims around the so-called SJTCoin, which it said in January was "designed for cooperative living, working and healthier lives and offers extensible diversity in the use of the coin over current coins like Bitcoins for both financial and societal gain."

See below for the full statement as it appears on the SEC’s website:

SEC statement

"Based on its ongoing, non-public investigation, the SEC has reason to believe that to 'pump' its stock price, Cherubim issued false public statements in January 2018 claiming that the company had executed a $100,000,000 financing commitment to launch an initial coin offering ('ICO') for St. James Trust. After Cherubim's stock price and trading volume increased on this news, certain individuals associated with the company may have 'dumped' their overvalued Cherubim stock for significant profits."

James and St. James Trust yet to respond

However, at time of writing, James and the St. James Trust haven’t responded to the subpoena, despite the SEC’s claim of ‘personally [serving] James with copies of the subpoenas’.

"The SEC's application seeks an order from the court compelling James and St. James Trust to produce all responsive documents," the agency said.

Around the beginning of the year, the SEC made headlines across the crypto-sphere by scrutinizing a number of small-cap stocks, having issued a warning in August 2017 that it would seek to punish public companies that use ICO-related claims to scam investors.

Full transcript of the SEC’s Tuesday statement

“The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it filed a subpoena enforcement action against the Saint James Holding and Investment Company Trust and its sole trustee, Jeffrey James.

According to the SEC's application, filed on October 5, 2018 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the SEC is investigating whether certain individuals or entities engaged in a potential "pump-and-dump" scheme in the stock of Cherubim Interests, Inc., among other penny-stock companies. Because of the SEC's concerns regarding the accuracy of Cherubim's disclosures, it had suspended trading in the securities of Cherubim and other microcap issuers on February 15, 2018 for ten business days. Based on its ongoing, non-public investigation, the SEC has reason to believe that to "pump" its stock price, Cherubim issued false public statements in January 2018 claiming that the company had executed a $100,000,000 financing commitment to launch an initial coin offering ("ICO") for St. James Trust. After Cherubim's stock price and trading volume increased on this news, certain individuals associated with the company may have "dumped" their overvalued Cherubim stock for significant profits.

As part of its investigation, the SEC issued subpoenas to St. James Trust and James in June 2018. The subpoenas called for the production of documents related to Cherubim's January 2018 public statements about St. James Trust and its ICO, as well as any agreements or communications among St. James Trust, James, and Cherubim. According to the SEC's application, the SEC made multiple attempts to contact James, extended its deadline for responding to the subpoenas several times, and personally served James with copies of the subpoenas. James and St. James Trust, however, have not responded to the SEC or produced any documents responsive to the subpoenas.

The SEC's application seeks an order from the court compelling James and St. James Trust to produce all responsive documents. The SEC is continuing its fact-finding investigation in this matter and, to date, has not concluded that anyone has violated the securities laws.”

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