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06 December 2017, 01:17 | Megan Pierce
Projection of cyber code on hooded man
According to the complaint, Lacroix and his partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer have raised more than $15 million since August from thousands of people who have backed PlexCorps in exchange for PlexCoin, a "tokenized currency" that Lacroix and his company promised would let investors "take control of [their] money". In October, Quebec's Superior Court ruled LaCroix was in contempt of court for continuing to solicit investment into PlexCoins. Yesterday, the SEC announced charges against PlexCorps, an embattled initial coin offering (ICO) company that advertises an ostensibly stable and approachable cryptocurrency called PlexCoin.
Lacroix has been under investigation by Quebec's Autorité Des Marchés Financiers, which culminated in the authorities blocking PlexCorps from continuing its dealings. In its latest Facebook post, Friday, it told "dear members" how PlexCoin was up 698.03 per cent at 73 cents on CoinMarketCap as far and away the top gainer.
The SEC's complaint alleges that Lacroix and PlexCorps marketed and sold securities called PlexCoin to investors in the United States and overseas, claiming that investments in token would yield a 1,354% profit in less than 29 days.
The regulator on Monday filed an emergency court order to freeze assets of Dominic Lacroix, and his associated company PlexCorps, for arranging an ICO scheme that fraudulently touted lucrative investment returns. The SEC said this summer that ICOs could fall under U.S. securities rules, and among other things, it claims PlexCorps failed to comply with the relevant registration laws.
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The SEC says that these are the first charges filed by its Cyber Unit, which was created in September to fight online scams and other criminal activity.
Charges against the company, described by the agency as a "scam" run by a "recidivist Canadian securities law violator", were brought by the SEC's new cyber unit as it looks to crack down on potential abuse in the cryptocurrency arena.
Where the SEC actions becomes somewhat interesting is in terms of its global implications, with the PlexCoin and it's founder, Dominic Lacroix, described by the SEC as a "recidivist" securities law violator, being based in Quebec, Canada. For Lacroix, the SEC also seeks an officer-and-director ban and, for both Lacroix and Paradis-Royer, a ban from offering digital securities.
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