Fraud and Scams

Nigerian Touting Cryptos Using Fake Identity Caught Red Handed By U.S. Authorities

Arizona state authorities have ordered a Nigerian man has to cease and desist from offering digital currency investments. Abuchi Okoye has been soliciting investors illegally using a stolen identity, as alleged reported by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

In its report, the ACC’s Security Division announced that it had issued a provisional cease and desist order against Okoye and his associated company, Coininvest.

The ACC asserts that Okoye stole an Arizona registered securities dealer’s identification and was using it to solicit financing from Arizona residents. He has been using the bogus website (which was inaccessible at press time), posing as Arcadia Capital, a Phoenix-based licensed investment firm.

The local authority stated,

“The Commission’s Securities Division alleges Okoye and Coininvest are soliciting investors to purchase investments in cryptocurrency via the pirated website and a social media account, claiming to be a dealer located in Phoenix, Arizona. The actual Arizona business is managed by an Arizona resident who has no relationship with or connection to Okoye and Coininvest.”

Okoye has also been allegedly misleading the digital currency investments he offers as “a safe and secure investment with an assured profit.” However, digital currencies are considered a volatile investment; the regulator reminded the public.

The ACC list several factors that make investing in digital currencies risky, including being susceptible to cyber-attacks, lack of FDIC insurance, unlike bank deposits, lack of liquidity, little to no regulation, and fraud.

“As with any investment, if a promoter guarantee returns, if an opportunity sounds too good to be true, or if you are pressured to act quickly, please exercise extreme caution and be aware of the risk that your investment funds may be lost,” the watchdog cautioned.

Okoye is entitled to a hearing to answer the claims made against him, the ACC clarified.

In the past few years, Arizona has been striving to establish itself as a digital currency hub. In March 2017, the state became the first in the U.S. to pass a smart contract law. The following year, it followed it up with the Corporate Blockchain Law, giving legal recognition to corporations’ data stored on the blockchain.

As the incident occurred last August 2019, the state reported that it had accepted a marijuana startup developing a stablecoin into its regulatory sandbox. Known as ALTA, the startup seeks to make it easier for marijuana businesses to send and receive payments outside the banking system that has discriminated against them for years.

Arizona could also become a critical state in block reward mining in the U.S. shortly, with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company announcing in May 2020 that it will set up a $12 billion factory in the state. TSMC supplies chips to some of the largest mining equipment manufacturers.

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