In a press release issued on May 21, The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)t announced one of the largest coordinated series of enforcement actions by state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada to crack down on fraudulent ICOs, cryptocurrency-related investment products, and those behind them.
NASAA members from more than 40 jurisdictions throughout North America participated in “Operation Cryptosweep,” which to date has resulted in nearly 70 inquiries and investigations and 35 pending or completed enforcement actions related to ICOs or cryptocurrencies since the beginning of May. NASAA members are conducting additional investigations into potentially fraudulent conduct that may result in additional enforcement actions. These actions are in addition to more than a dozen enforcement actions previously undertaken by NASAA members regarding these types of products. Many NASAA members also are conducting public outreach initiatives to warn investors in their jurisdictions of the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
The press release identifies many of the actions, including, for example, three cease and desist orders from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities against Bullcoin Foundation, Trident and Springcryptoinvest. According to the Bureau, those entities violated state law by offering securities that are not registered with the Bureau to be sold in New Jersey, not disclosing material facts to potential investors and making false statements about their products.