Texas State Securities Board Issues Cease and Desist Order to Crypto Promoters

The Texas State Securities Board (SSB) has issued an emergency cease and desist order to a network of cryptocurrency-related firms, the SSB announced in an official statement July 12.

SSB commissioner Travis J. Iles took emergency action on July 11, suspending a group of crypto-related companies that allegedly offered fraudulent crypto investments to state residents. According to the order, the companies are immediately suspended from offering securities in Texas until the security is registered or exempt.

The order lists a Utah-based network of three companies; Mintage Mining LLC, Symatri LLC, and NUI Social. According to the SSB’s statement, Mintage Mining offers illegal and fraudulent investments in cryptocurrency mining. Symatri is issuing a newly launched coin dubbed Kala and offering investors an opportunity to acquire Kala-mining equipment. NUI Social, touted as a multi-level marketing company with over 300,000 members in 140 countries, recruits individuals for the cryptocurrency investments.

The order also names BC Holdings and Investments, which is allegedly involved in sales of crypto mining investments offered by Mintage Mining, as well as Houston-based Wyatt McCullough and William Douglas Whetsell, who are affiliated with NUI Social.

The order cites violations of the Texas Securities Act, claiming that the companies “[made] deceptive claims to the public,” such as promising “extraordinary returns” of up to 250 percent annually and claiming that the companies offer the investments in compliance with securities laws. It states that Symatri failed to disclose Kala token details and provide information on the risks of crypto investments.

Earlier this week, the SSB released a report on mid-year enforcement highlights, featuring protection for “investors from fraudulent cryptocurrency-related investment products.” The SSB was “the first state securities regulator to issue an administrative order” against illegal crypto-related firms in 2017. SSB investigations of crypto-related investments have led to “nearly 40 pending or completed enforcement actions.”

In February, the SSB issued an emergency cease and desist order to Leadinvest.com, citing poor disclosure of information about the company. In January, the SSB issued a similar order against notorious scam project Bitconnect for selling unlicensed securities.

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