The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against ICOBox, an incubator of initial coin offerings, and its founder Nikolay Evdokimov for allegedly violating the registration requirements of federal securities laws.
Regulators said ICOBox conducted a securities offering of its own digital tokens and failed to register as a broker when it helped facilitate initial coin offerings that raised more than $650 million for dozens of clients.
Between August 9, 2017, and September 15, 2017, the company sold approximately $14.6 million of ICOS tokens to more than 2,000 investors to develop a platform for initial coin offerings, the SEC said.
“By ignoring the registration requirements of the federal securities laws, ICOBox and Evdokimov exposed investors to investments, which are now virtually worthless, without providing information that is critical to making informed investment decisions,” Michele Wein Layne, regional director of the Los Angeles regional office of the SEC, said in a statement.
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Regulators said the defendants told investors ICOBox would be successful and the tokens valuable, and management would attract more than 100 clients per month, but the company had yet to support a token sale to completion at the time of its own offering.
According to the complaint, ICOBox has facilitated token sales for far fewer than 100 clients in total, and it has also discontinued the ability to swap ICOS tokens, making them effectively useless.
Regulators said the company continues to actively solicit and attract investors to its clients’ securities offerings in exchange for transaction-based compensation, without registering as a broker-dealer, and has expanded to support “security token sales.”
The SEC is seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest, and civil money penalties. The litigation is being conducted by Amy Longo of the Los Angeles regional office.