Today, the SEC filed a fraud complaint against three individuals involved with crypto projects Start Options and Bitcoiin2Gen.
Years 2017 and 2018 were hectic days for initial coin offerings when a mishmash of B-list actors and music artists will tie their name to a project.
Now, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued to press its lawsuit against the participants in a crypto project linked to actor and martial arts connoisseur Steven Seagal.
The SEC complaint filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, three individuals behind Start Options and Bitcoiin2Gen fraudulently convinced small investors to go on separate ways with more than $11 million cash for tokens and products that did far less than what they claimed.
Kristijan Krstic and John DeMarr were the founder and chief marketers, respectively, of Start Options, which purported to be a platform for trading and mining cryptocurrencies, and also Bitcoiin2Gen, a token the SEC says that is a “sham.”
“DeMarr fraudulently misappropriated at least $1.8 million—nearly half of the fiat currency he raised from investors—for his own personal benefit, including car payments and personal credit card debts,” states the SEC complaint. “Krstic, meanwhile, received more than $9 million of investor funds in fiat currency and digital assets.” Krstic purportedly pulled out of the scheme in 2018 without repaying investors.
This, although DeMarr called Start Options “the largest Bitcoin exchange in euro volume and liquidity.”
The third person named in the complaint is Robin Enos, who the SEC says received around $12,000 from DeMarr for assisting in the marketing effort. The two allegedly erroneously claimed B2G tokens would be mineable and tradable by April 2018, the similar month that Krstic abandoned the project.
Seagal was previously fined by the SEC last year for marketing Bitcoiin2Gen without revealing that he had been paid $157,000 in B2G token to do so.
The actor promoted Bitcoiin2Gen in February 2018 as a way “to empower the community by providing a decentralized P2P payment system with its own wallet, mining ecosystem and robust blockchain platform without the need of any third party.”
It was before the token became worthless.
The recent complaint seeks financial penalties, disgorgement and interest for aggrieved investors, and injunctive relief against the parties.
DeMarr also faces criminal charges filed by the Department of Justice and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
For up-to-date Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Crypto-mining news, please join our Telegram Channel.