Regulatory Series on Cryptocurrencies: US-SEC Charges Dropil INC With Fraudulent Crypto Trade Advices

We’ve been witnessing growing cases of fraudulent crypto-operations as the industry has been evolving. Cryptocurrency instruments, including payments & derivatives products have been under the meticulous scanner of the renowned global regulators, such as, the US SEC, CFTC and UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In the recent past, the CFTC, has charged Florida-based individual & companies for forex & digital assets scam.

For now, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) charges the founders and the issuers for involving in fraudulent and unregistered ICO operations and misleading crypto-trading.

The US security watchdog alleges California-based three scammers who are the founders of crypto-company called ‘Dropil, Inc.’. 

The trios of ‘Dropil, Inc.’ reportedly defrauded investors of millions misleading crypto trading, “fraudulent and unregistered” initial coin offering (ICO) and manipulated reports.

The SEC has, now, made an allegation against Dropil Inc. and founders who raised more than $1.8 million from thousands of investors, as per the complaint filed by the SEC on April 23rd.Dropil, Inc. founders Jeremy McAlpine, Zachary Matar and Patrick O’Hara were accused of selling DROP tokens from January to March 2018. 

During this period, the sale of ‘DROP tokens’ took place claiming that investor funds would be pooled to trade various digital assets by a “trading bot,” called ‘Dex’, using an algorithm designed and tested by Dropil and it was allegedly claimed the trading would derive profits that would be distributed as additional DROP tokens on every fortnight basis.  

However, Dropil allegedly diverted the funds raised to other projects and to the founders’ personal digital asset and bank accounts instead of using investors’ money to the trade with Dex. Dropil allegedly manufactured fake Dex profitability reports and made payments in the form of DROPs to Dex users, giving the false appearance that Dex was operational and profitable, according to the SEC’s complaint. 

Furthermore, the complaint further alleges that Dropil misrepresented the volume and dollar amount of DROPs sold both during and after the ICO, ultimately claiming that it had successfully raised $54 million from 34,000 investors in the United States and around the world. 

However, Dropil raised less than $1.9 million from fewer than 2,500 investors. The complaint also alleges that during the SEC’s investigation, Dropil produced falsified evidence and testimony.

Hence, the SEC’s filed complaint in the federal district court in Los Angeles, charges Dropil, McAlpine, Matar, and O’Hara for violating the registration provisions of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 and the antifraud provisions of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. 

The SEC’s complaint seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, penalties, and injunctive relief as a result.

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