SEC Charges Five People Linked to 2017 BitConnect Lending Program

The U.S. Security Exchange Commission (SEC) is filing charges against five individuals linked to the BitConnect high-yield investment program.

According to a new press release, the SEC says that it filed complaints against Trevon James, Craig Grant, Ryan Maasen and Michael Noble, who served as promoters of the BitConnect lending program, and Joshua Jeppesen, who represented BitConnect in promotional events. 

The SEC alleges that the promoters offered and sold unregistered securities from January 2017 to January 2018 without broker-dealer registration with the commission. 

The securities regulator alleges that the individuals promoted BitConnect’s lending program using YouTube videos and earned commissions with every successful referral.

Says Lara Shalov Mehraban, associate regional director of SEC’s New York regional office,

“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.”

The promoters face charges for violating the registration provisions of federal securities laws, and Jeppesen for aiding and abetting the offering and sale of the unregistered securities.

BitConnect launched its initial coin offering (ICO) in late 2016 and raised $2 billion from retail investors. The project abruptly shut down at the start of 2018 after receiving cease-and-desist letters from state authorities.

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