The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has concluded its judgement on three key individuals tied to the now defunct BitConnect project.
The project was ordered to shut down by the SEC in 2018, leaving many investors out of pocket.
However, in a recent filing by the SEC, enforcement against previous promoters of the project are ongoing. According to the filing, Bitconnect promoters Michael Noble and Joshua Jeppesen, as well as relief defendant Laura Mascola have had final judgement from the SEC confirmed.
The SEC has judged that Jeppesen will need to pay back $3 million in disgorgement and prejudgement interest. Jeppesen will also be fined $150,000 while having to hand in 190 Bitcoin, totaling roughly $9.2 million.
Noble will be required to pay disgorgement, prejudgment interest and a civil penalty in an amount to be determined by the court at a later date upon the Commission’s motion.
Lastly, Mascola has been ordered to pay $576,358 in disgorgement and prejudgement interest.
The SEC states that noble promoted BitConnect and marketed and sold securities in its “lending program.” Furthermore, the judgement states that “Noble offered and sold the securities without registering the securities offering with the Commission, and without being registered as a broker-dealer with the Commission, as required by the federal securities laws.”
The SEC states that Jeppesen “served as a liaison between BitConnect and promoters and represented BitConnect at conferences and promotional events, and that Mascola received certain proceeds from Jeppesen’s BitConnect activities.”
The SEC also recently sued five BitConnect promoters for selling unregistered securities. The last case which occurred in May 2021, saw the SEC target YouTube channels for marketing the unregistered lending platform. The SEC concluded the case by charging four people, saying, “We allege that these defendants unlawfully sold unregistered digital asset securities by actively promoting the BitConnect lending program to retail investors. We will seek to hold accountable those who illegally profit by capitalizing on the public’s interest in digital assets.”
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