A Nigerian man has been ordered to cease and desist offering digital currency investments by the Arizona state regulator. The Arizona Corporation Commission alleges that Abuchi Okoye has been soliciting investors illegally using a stolen identity.
In its statement, the ACC’s Security Division revealed that it had issued a temporary cease and desist order against Okoye and his affiliated company, Coininvest.
The ACC alleges that Okoye stole the identity of an Arizona registered securities dealer and was using it to solicit investment from Arizona residents. He has been using the imposter website Arcadia-Capital.net (which was inaccessible at press time), posing as Arcadia Capital, a Phoenix-based licensed investment firm.
The regulator 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 misrepresenting 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 went on to list a number of 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 guarantees 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.
Arizona has in the past few years been striving to establish itself as 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 data stored on the blockchain by corporations.
As CoinGeek reported, in August 2019, the state revealed that it had accepted a marijuana startup that was developing a stablecoin into is regulatory sandbox. Known as ALTA, the startup is seeking to make it easier for marijuana businesses to send and receive payments outside the banking system that has discriminated them for years.
Arizona could also become a key state in block reward mining in the U.S. in the near future, 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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