Two siblings have been charged by the the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over fraud involving crypto.
As part of the charges, it is alleged that the duo defrauded numerous investors out of around $124 million – as they deceived their victims through portraying images of an unknown crypto wallet as though it belonged to them.
The pair utilised the branding of their marketing firm, Ormeus Global SA, to lure investors into engaging with the scam.
According to allegations, they pushed an Ormeus Coin on an abundance of trading platforms, as they outlined that the coin was supported by a lucrative Hong Kong mining operation.
Furthermore, the pair bolstered the presence of their coin through roadshows, social posts and YouTube videos, as they sought to expand the global presence and general awareness of the coin.
“We allege that the Barksdales acted as modern-day snake-oil salesmen, using social media, promotional websites, and in-person roadshows to mislead retail investors for their own personal benefit,” stated Melissa Hodgman, Associate Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
As part of the charges, John Barksdale, was ‘arrested abroad’ on conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud charges, whilst his sister is alleged to have given false information over the value and potential of the coin that the duo were pitching.
The charges come as the US prepares for an overhaul of its digital currency framework – with Joe Biden set to roll out new legislation on crypto through an all encompassing executive order.