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SEC Cyber Unit's first charges target cryptocurrency fraud

A company called PlexCorps had raised $15 million through a shady initial coin offering.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Securities and Exchange Commission's new Cyber Unit has filed its first charges since being formed in September. The unit's case is being brought against a company called PlexCorps, its founder Dominic Lacroix and his partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer and the SEC claims that Lacroix and Paradis-Royer were actively defrauding investors. PlexCorps was engaged in an initial coin offering (ICO) -- which was selling securities called PlexCoin -- that had already raised around $15 million since August and it was fraudulently promising that investors would see a 13-fold profit in just under one month. The SEC obtained an emergency asset freeze to halt the ICO.

The SEC's charges seek permanent injunctions, a release of all funds collected so far as well as interest and penalties. In a statement, Robert Cohen, head of the Cyber Unit, said, "This first Cyber Unit case hits all of the characteristics of a full-fledged cyber scam and is exactly the kind of misconduct the unit will be pursuing. We acted quickly to protect retail investors from this initial coin offering's false promises."

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