Shady ICOs beware - US SEC warns that the next wave of action against fraudulent token offerings is coming...

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The "fiscal year" as it relates to the institutions that regulate the financial markets technically came to a close on Sept 30th - the idea is anything ongoing at the point is likely to continue into the next year as lawmakers return home from Washington, and anything beyond that date will be considered part of their 2019 actions.

On that note, the US Securities and Exchange Commission released their annual report covering the 2018 fiscal year, where they touched on the topic of cryptocurrencies several times, first stating:

"In the past year, the Division has opened dozens of investigations involving ICOs and digital assets, many of which were ongoing at the close of FY 2018."

The SEC says they've helped recover over $68 million for 'duped investors' participating in ICOs that purposely mislead the public.

Among those - a story I broke here following an insider leaking documents to the Global Crypto Press regarding Titanium Blockchain, who raised over $12 million before it was discovered their CEO lied about business relationships with everyone from Apple to PayPal.

Also included in their biggest busts was TokenLot, which stands accused of operating as an unregistered broker/dealer.

Adding some relief for legitimate investors, they made a point they've made before - that only those committing fraud have reason to fear SEC intervention, saying:

“The Enforcement Division recognizes the need to balance its mission to protect investors from the risk posed by fraud and registration violations against the risk of stifling innovation and legitimate capital formation”

Which is a case often made in response to those saying the cryptocurrency markets need more regulation and oversight - that so far existing laws have been sufficient and it's been impossible for someone to operate a scam in the cryptocurrency world that didn't violate existing laws as well - meaning new regulations aren't only unnecessary, but also come with the risk of slowing innovation and growth.

The full report is available on the SEC's official site here.
Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

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