The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has increased charges in a $ 30 million fraud case that covers three other defendants believed to be involved in the fraud.
The fraud under investigation was led by convicted fraudster Boaz Manor along with his criminal associate Edith Pardo. Manor and Pardo founded CG Blockchain and BCT Inc., two companies that claimed to be developing blockchain-based tools for hedge funds. Manor, Pardo and their companies had been indicted by the US securities commission in connection with the case since January 2020.
The expanded indictments provide for three new defendants: Ali Asif Hamid, Michael Gietz and Cristine Page, alias Cristina Page.
According to the SEC complaint, Hamid, Gietz and Page were charged with violating or aiding and abetting the anti-fraud provisions of the US Securities Act and criminal offenses related to securities registration requirements.
The SEC complaint calls for levies with interest, penalties, and restraining orders. So far, Page has agreed to a no-liability settlement that could result in her submitting to a levy and a $ 192,768 fine pending court approval.
In a press release, the SEC set out the details of its complaint and the nature of the allegations against the parties.
“According to the SEC lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the New Jersey District, Defendants Ali Asif Hamid of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Michael Gietz of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Cristine Page of Brooklyn, New York, played Leadership roles in an ICO that allegedly would fund the development of technology for trading digital assets, while actively obscuring Manor’s role as the head of that company. “
“The SEC complaint accuses Hamid, Gietz and Page of violating and aiding and abetting violations of the anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws and of violating securities registration requirements. The lawsuit aims to surrender unlawfully acquired profits plus interest, penalties and injunctive relief. “
The case is the SEC’s latest indictment related to ICO fraud amid broader enforcement actions against the sector.
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