In what seems like the first coordinated strike from government agencies, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have taken action against a securities broker for violating federal laws in connection with security-based swaps funded by bitcoin.
On September 27, 2018 the SEC announced that it had filed charges at a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Marshall Islands-based securities company 1pool Ltd., also known as 1Broker, and its Austria-based CEO Patrick Brunner for trading security swaps to American investors and others across the world without meeting the “discretionary investment thresholds required” by federal securities law.
The SEC further claims that 1Broker was fraudulently issuing swaps as it was not a registered “securities-based swaps dealer,” and it also failed to transact on a registered national exchange.
Commenting on the claims, Shamoil Shipchandler, director of the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office, said the SEC would protect U.S. investors on any platform regardless of the currency used in the transaction.
International companies that transact with U.S. investors cannot circumvent compliance with the federal securities laws by using cryptocurrency.
The SEC is seeking permanent injunctions, penalties and “disgorgement plus interest” against 1Broker and its CEO.
Responding to the SEC’s allegation, 1Broker assured customers of the safety of their funds and said they were ready to cooperate with the SEC.