Russian Crypto Firm Accused of Impersonating Coinbase to Mislead Investors
A Russian crypto firm, Coins Miner Investment Ltd, has been accused by the Texas Securities Commission (TSC) of claiming to represent Coinbase and Cointelegraph to entice investors.
According to a press release via the TSC, the firm allegedly forged an e-mail address to appear to be associated with Coinbase. Interestingly, the address was registered as a U.K. entity, while Coinbase is a U.S. based exchange. However, the registration was fake, as the group actually works out of Volgograd, Russia.
The cease-and-desist letter targets one “Ana Julia Lara”, who sent unsolicited emails to many investors, including ones in the Lone Star state. Each e-mail was meant to convince recipients to purchase mining software distributed by Coins Miner.
To further convince investors, “Lara” ripped off a photo of a female posing with the president of Ripple (XRP), claiming it to be a picture of her. The accused also asserted herself as a Coinbase trader, which she is not:
“Respondent Lara is telling potential investors she met the president of Ripple and [is] providing potential investors with a photograph that purports to depict her and the president of Ripple. The photograph does not depict Respondent Lara. Instead the photograph depicts a vice president at CoinTelegraph Media Group [sic].”
Suggested Reading : Learn why Coinbase is one of our top exchanges for 2018.
In Further Violation
Coins Miner is also charged with publishing a fake video which portrays its employees working in an office space. However, these photos are in fact stock images.
On top of this, the company stole a video from Fortune which featured a journalist speaking about crypto. Coins Miner inserted their logo into the video, however “neither the journalist nor Fortune authorized the use of the video, which was filmed for Fortune as part of its coverage of cryptocurrencies.”
The TSC charges Coins Miner for violating Section 12 of the Securities Act, as the company participated in misleading representations alongside unregistered sale in the state of Texas.
That same day, the TSC issued two other cease-and-desist letters. One order went to “DGBK Ltd., an offshore digital ‘bank’ that says it has developed hack-proof storage for virtual currencies,” while the other was to Ultimate Assets LLC for claiming to be a “crypto and foreign exchange trader.”
It seems that all sorts of different groups are trying to mislead crypto investors. Just over a week ago, the SEC sent two cease-and-desist letters to companies for alleged false marketing.
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