The Texas State Securities Board announced on Monday that it has issued a crypto-related emergency cease-and-desist order against a company that used pictures of models and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to represent its management and legal team. The firm, Panama-registered LeadInvest, is described as a technology company that specializes in developing trading software in the Forex market and bitcoin currency, according to the order.
“The agency’s Enforcement Division determined that some of the images that purported to portray its management on its website are, in fact, stock photographs of models sold on the internet.” Joseph Rotunda, the agency’s director of enforcement, said in an email. “The Enforcement Division also determined that other photographs are actually images from unrelated websites that depict an attorney licensed to practice in Texas, and attorney licensed to practice in North Carolina and a law firm based in California. A photograph of LeadInvest’s legal professionals portrays Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and former Solicitors General Theodore Olson, Paul Clement and Seth Waxman.”
LeadInvest is accused of deceiving the public through its use of the photograph.
“Although many legitimate firms continue to embrace e-commerce to market goods and services, we recognize that promoters of fraudulent investment schemes can capitalize on the anonymity afforded by the internet to conceal their identity or, perhaps even worse, use the identity of others.” Rotunda added. “Ultimately, violators may be luring investors through flashy blogs, online marketplaces and social media to purchase nothing more than a promise made through a webpage maintained by an anonymous person from an unknown location.
“Now more than ever, investors need to conduct thorough due diligence to verify the identity of promoters of online investment programs and determine whether they are telling the truth about themselves and their operations.”
LeadInvest was founded in May 2010, according to its website, which has now been removed.
The Texas State Securities Board has been among the most active in the US in combatting alleged cryptocurrency schemes; the agency has issued at least five cease-and-desist orders, including one against DavorCoin earlier this month.
The full cease-and-desist order appears below.
- Wanchain CEO Jack Lu: Why 2.0 is a Milestone for the Entire Blockchain Industry - July 23, 2018
- Hit the Road, Jack. Wanchain 2.0 and WanLabs Kick Off European Tour - July 20, 2018
- Peter Gabriel Backs British Blockchain Startup Provenance - July 18, 2018
- Bitfinex CEO Hits Back at Fraud Expert’s Study Linking Tether to Crypto Price Manipulation - June 13, 2018
- Pundi X Moves Into Europe - June 5, 2018
- Dying for Crypto: The Ultimate ICO Publicity Stunt? - May 25, 2018
- Blockchain City Dubai Hosts Showstopping Summit, Unveils Registry to Expedite Business - May 8, 2018
- Crypto Tax: Victory for Tokenized Protest & Calls for Worldwide Reform - April 26, 2018
- Taking the Temperature at London’s Blockchain Expo 2018 - April 24, 2018
- Death Knell for Crypto in Poland? Poles Mobilze to Protest Crippling Tax Law - April 11, 2018
- Taiwan’s NOWnews Announces Plan to Launch Blockchain-Based Media Platform - April 3, 2018
- Study on 100 ICOs Identifies Social Reach, No. Of Advisors and a Raise of $10M as Key Factors for Success - April 2, 2018
- Exchange Group TMX Issues Guidance to Crypto and Blockchain Issuers - March 30, 2018
- DeepMind’s AI Pioneers Launch Fetch.ai – the World’s First Smart Ledger - March 29, 2018
- Kleros Joins Forces with Dether to Launch Decentralized Arbitration for Cryptocurrency Traders - March 26, 2018
- Future Crypto: 7 Clean Sneaks Past China’s ICO Ban - March 26, 2018
- Proxeus & Mount10 Partner to Provide Military-Grade Storage Security - March 22, 2018
- Playboy Pounces on Blockchain, Plans Crypto Wallet - March 14, 2018
- Crypto Leaders Speak out as US Regulatory Uncertainty Around ICOs Continues - March 9, 2018
- EU Proposes Pan-European Licensing Plan for ICOs - March 8, 2018