The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against a New York-based man and two of his companies.
In the document, SEC alleges that these companies conducted a fraudulent and unregistered ICO from late 2017 to 2018, and is requesting that a U.S. District Court issue an emergency freeze on the defendants' related assets which Hindenburg Research shared in a post on Aug. 12.
According to the document, the commission is formally filing a complaint against Reginald Middleton, the New York company Veritaseum Inc. and the Delaware-based company Veritaseum LLC.
The SEC claims that the defendants raised approximately $14.8 million in an ICO from late 2017 to early 2018 and that in the materials, misrepresentations and omissions were made to investors.
Further, the SEC believes there are around $8 million in investor proceeds remaining from this ICO and are requesting an immediate prayer for relief in order to freeze the defendants’ assets.
The commission is also requesting that the District Court provide an order to prevent the defendants from interfering with the SEC’s access to relevant documentation — for example, by destroying it — allow it take expedited discovery and escrow digital assets via a third party, among other requests.
As per the filing, the companies sold tokens called VERI, which were apparently issued on the Ethereum blockchain and pegged to Ether (ETH) at a 30:1 ratio. The defendants reportedly presented VERI as a utility token, saying that it could be redeemed for benefits such as consulting and advisory services and purportedly unlimited access to research.