By Stan Higgins
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged the company behind an initial coin offering (ICO) and its president with securities fraud.
Michael Stollery, also known as Michael Stollaire, has been accused along with Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services of violating the SEC’s antifraud and registration provisions in connection with a multi-million dollar token sale. The agency accused Stollaire of fabricating information for would-be investors and allegedly claiming that Titanium had relationships with companies like Paypal and Disney.
Officials with the U.S. securities regulator obtained an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver in relation to the token sale, which raised as much as $21 million, according to the SEC.
The focus on alleged misrepresentation echoes similar actions on the ICO front, given that the SEC has accused Centra and its three co-founders of lying about their relationship with card network operators Visa and Mastercard.
Robert Cohen, the head of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, said in a statement:
“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.”
According to statements, the complaint against Stollaire and Titanium was initially filed on May 22. Another company tied to Stollaire, EHI Internetwork and Systems Management Inc., was also named in the complaint.
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