"Operation Cryptosweep" Underway by North American Authorities to Root Out Fraudsters

On May 21, 2018, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced a coordinated series of enforcement actions against cryptocurrency-related investment products by North American regulators.

Referred to as "Operation Crypto Sweep," the investigation resulted in approximately 70 inquiries and 35 enforcement action thus far. Investigators reportedly identified hundreds of ICOS nearing the final stages of deployment and are currently being investigated to determine whether the organizers are engaged in fraudulent activity. 

A list of enforcement actions resulting from Operation Crypto Sweep can be found here

The NASAA President, Joseph Borg, stated that this is only the beginning and that his task force discovered "approximately 30,000 crypto-related domain name registrations, the vast majority of which appeared in 2017 and 2018."

The SEC chairman hailed the coordinated efforts of regulators and reiterated that the goal is to target scams and fraudulent offerings in the cryptocurrency space. Tangible evidence of the SEC's backing includes its launch of a fake ICO website intended to raise awareness among consumers about fraudulent practices and deceptive marketing tactics. The website called, Howey Tokens, even includes a white paper that closely mimics many of those found on illegitimate ICO sites.

 

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