In an unsurprising move, news has broken that the SEC has continued on its path of charging ICOs with a litany of crimes. While the organizer of two ICOs has plead guilty to charges, the SEC’s focus now seems to be shifting to United States based SALT, and Eric Voorhees.
Zaslavskiy Pleads Guilty
Maksim Zaslavskiy is responsible for orchestrating multiple ICOs within United States borders during the summer of 2017. It has now been found that these ICOs were fraudulent on several accounts.
The first ICO promised investors a return through tokenized real estate. The second claimed to have been backed by diamonds. Zaslavskiy has now stated, “I, along with others, made these false statements to obtain money from investors”.
These false claims indicated that prior to hosting the ICOs, the companies had already purchased foreign real estate, and diamonds. To date, the companies have made zero investments or purchases of any kind. While Zaslavskiy’s lawyer claims that the defendant simply was overzealous, but well-meaning with his intentions, the SEC did not view his actions in such a positive light.
By admitting guilt to the charges laid against him, Zaslavskiy faces upwards of 3 years in prison.
Another project that he has been linked to in the past is that of SALT. Based out of Denver, Colorado, SALT is a financial platform. Specifically, they specialize in loans that utilize cryptocurrency holdings as collateral.
In the time since their ICO, SALT is one of the few companies around to actually have delivered on their promises. Currently, they have a working platform that services a large percentage of the United States.
Despite their success – or perhaps due to them- the SEC is now focusing on them. It is believed that they were subpoenaed by the SEC months ago, and that they are actively being investigated. This investigation centers around whether they acted as an unlicensed broker/dealer of securities.
With their ICO raising north of $50 million, there is a debate as to whether investors believed their participation was to receive utility tokens, or securities.
To further muddy the waters, there is the involvement of Eric Voorhees. With a longstanding history between Voorhees and the SEC, it is no surprise that he is under a watchful eye.
Erik Voorhees is an icon within the cryptocurrency industry. He is the founder of various companies that have helped shape the industry into what it is today. Most notably he is known for his conversion platform, ‘Shapeshift’.
In 2014 Voorhees plead guilty to a series of charges laid against him by the SEC. In part of the settlement, Voorhees was forbidden from taking park in any future public offerings.
In the days leading up to the SALT ICO, Voorhees was listed as a team member of the company. This has led many to believe that he may have breached the terms of his previous settlement.
Voorhees, however, does not see it this way, denying any breach. His lawyer has commented on the issue, stating, “I am proud to represent @ErikVoorhees, a real visionary, who has abided by his SEC settlement terms. This @ WSJ story is an unfair attack on him relying on unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous sources, and his is not even a party to the lawsuit discussed.”
Whether Voorhees breached terms of his settlement is irrelevant to SALT. His simple connection to the company acts a flame, with the moths (SEC), attracted right to it.