Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

January 25, 2018

Emergency Order Entered Against Cryptocurrency Firm (Texas State Securities Board Press Release )
The TSSB entered an Emergency Cease and Desist against R2B Coin, a Hong Kong-based company selling investments tied to a cryptocurrency called r2b coin, promising investors that the digital currency will soon be one of the world's most valuable. R2B Coin allegedly represents to potential investors that the distributor of the coin, Williams Corp. Ltd., is a licensed global firm and licensed securities dealer based in Hong Kong and Dubai; however, TSSB contends that Williams Corp. has never been registered to sell securities in Texas. Despite various optimistic projections by the company, TSSB alleges that as recently as Jan. 18 the company  told investors of what it calls "growing pains" and has referenced its attempts to fix problems with security for customer accounts and parts of the application investors use to invest. READ the FULL TEXT Emergency Order.

Abuse And Harassment On Wall Street ( Blog) Blog publisher Bill Singer, Esq. is troubled by a recent FINRA regulatory settlement. The facts of the matter are cringe-worthy. Frankly, it all adds up to some moron stockbroker posting an online sexual solicitation in what seems to be a misguided effort to retaliate against another stockbroker. It's the stuff that should get someone sued. It may even be the stuff that should prompt an employer to fire you. Beyond the civil lawsuit and the firing, is this also a subject for Wall Street regulation replete with fines, suspensions, or bars? Bill's not saying he has the answers. Bill is saying that he has some provocative questions. 

The CFTC filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for Massachusetts charging Defendants Randall Crater, Mark Gillespie, and My Big Coin Pay, Inc., with misappropriating over $6 million from customers by, among other things, transferring customer funds into personal bank accounts, and using those funds for personal expenses and the purchase of luxury goods.

DMass issued a restraining Order freezing Defendants' assets and those of various relief defendants.

As set forth in part in the CFTC Press Release:

[F]rom at least January 2014 through January 2018, the Defendants fraudulently solicited potential and existing MBC customers throughout the United States by making false and misleading claims and omissions about MBC's value, usage, and trade status, and that MBC was backed by gold. Defendants also allegedly fraudulently solicited numerous customers in the District of Massachusetts, receiving in excess of $5 million from those customers.

As alleged in the Complaint, the MBC website, maintained and operated by the Defendants, conveyed to customers numerous solicitation materials, MBC trade data, and other materials (1) misrepresenting that MBC was actively being traded on several currency exchanges, including the MBC Exchange website, when in fact it was not; (2) misrepresenting in reports the daily trading price, when in fact no price existed because MBC was not trading; (3) misrepresenting that MBC was backed by gold, when in fact it was not; and (4) misrepresenting that MBC had partnered with MasterCard, with the promise that MBC could be used anywhere MasterCard was accepted, when in fact no such partnership existed and MBC could not be used anywhere MasterCard was accepted. In reality, as alleged, the supposed trading results were illusory, and any payouts to customers were derived from funds fraudulently obtained from other customers in the manner of a Ponzi scheme.

As customers began to raise questions about their MBC accounts, Defendants attempted to conceal their fraud by issuing additional coins to customers and falsely representing that they had secured a deal with another exchange to trade MBC, according to the Complaint. Defendants allegedly encouraged customers to refrain from redeeming their MBC holdings until MBC was active on this "new" exchange.