- New Jersey Issues Cease-and-Desist to Bitcoiin ICO Endorsed by Steven Seagal.
- New Jersey claims Bitcoiin is selling unregistered securities to its residents.
New Jersey, U.S.: Following the endorsement of the controversial Bitcoiin2Gen initial coin offering (ICO) by the popular action movie actor Steven Seagal last month, Bitcoiin has received a cease-and-desist order from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities to its ICO.
The document entered on 7th March, revealed that the New Jersey Bureau of Securities claimed that Bitcoiin is issuing unregistered securities to residents of the US state of New Jersey. The document further underlines the lack of concrete information about those who backs the ICO project, stating that “Bitcoiin’s developers, officers, managers, employees, controllers, and/or directors are anonymous,” however it highlights the endorsement of the Bitcoiin ICO by Steven Seagal. The officials wrote:
“Bitcoiin has never been registered to sell securities in the State of New Jersey.”
The Bitcoiin ICO project had sparked several accusations that it is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company or pyramid scheme seeking to scam and mislead investors through its close name association with Bitcoin, though Bitcoiin2Gen later refuted these allegations in a public statement.
The New Jersey’s cease-and-desist order clearly underlines Seagal’s role as just a brand ambassador, writing a disclaimer on its website that affirms that the actor holds no ownership stake in the project. That said, officials drew issue with the lack of information as regards the compensation the actor may have received.
According to the order:
“The Bitcoiin Websites do not disclose what expertise, if any, Steven Seagal has to ensure that the Bitcoiin investments are appropriate and in compliance with federal and state securities laws. Additionally, there are no disclosures as to the nature, scope, and amount of compensation paid by Bitcoiin in exchange for Steven Seagal’s promotion of the Bitcoiin investments.”
Prior to when the New Jersey’s cease-and-desist order was published, the actor posted a tweet stating that Bitcoiin was on the verge of being “listed on some of the biggest exchanges globally,” with his tweet bearing an “#Ad” hashtag. He added that additional details are “coming very shortly.”
However, officials claimed the cease-and-desist order was an effort to safeguard investors within the state from potential fraud.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement:
“The Bureau’s actions today are a reminder to investors that while celebrity endorsements can add to the excitement and hype of cryptocurrency-related investments, they do not guarantee that an investment is sound or even legal.”
The New Jersey regulators have earlier sent a cease-and-desist order to an online cryptocurrency investment site – Bitstrade, alleging that Bitstrade is fraudulently offering securities in the state.
This measures offer a sign of concern and protection from the government to protect its citizen against ICO scam.
Do you consider this move as a good action by the New Jersey regulators? Tell us in the comment box.
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