A U.S. court has sided with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in its quest to freeze assets belonging to an initial coin offering (ICO). Known as Meta 1 Coin, the project promised over 200,000% returns in just one year, with its publicity being led by a former U.S. state senator.
The SEC has been after Meta 1 Coin for a few months now. In March, the regulator filed a complaint in Texas against the project, accusing the operators of violating anti-fraud and securities registration provisions. Now, the SEC has finally received the go-ahead to freeze the company’s assets, according to a report by Finance Magnates.
As CoinGeek reported, Meta 1 Coin is a scam ICO that managed to raise over $4.3 million from unsuspecting investors before the authorities intervened. The company was founded in April 2018 by Nicole Bowdler and Robert Dunlap. Dunlap was the architect, dealing with the technical aspects of the firm. Bowdler, on the other hand, served as the “Trustee and Art Acquisitions & Forensics Director of Business Development.”
Meta 1 initially claimed that its tokens were backed by a $1 billion art collection. On its marketing materials, it purported that some of the pieces were “humanity’s greatest expressions of life, by master artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh.” The company also claimed that the tokens were backed by $2 billion worth of gold.
The ICO also brought on former Washington state Senator Dave Schmidt for publicity. It further promised its investors ludicrous returns, claiming that its token would spike from the $22.22 it retailed for during the ICO to $50,000 within two years. This would represent a preposterous 224,923% return on investment.
The involvement of a former state senator and the promises of riches attracted over 500 investors from 40 states. According to some reports, the ICO may have raised as much as $9 million.
In 2011, Schmidt was alleged to have used a chunk of his campaign funds for personal expenses. The former senator denied the charges, but later had to pay a $10,000 penalty.
Bowdler considered herself an “Earth Angel incarnated to help humanity,” and claimed to have mystic powers and even ran an online school for psychics. In one of her shows, she said that Abraham Lincoln had revealed to her what would happen to the global economy in the future. Lincoln purportedly showed her that the best way to hedge against the downfall was investing in the Meta 1 tokens.
At press time, the scam is still advertising its products on its social media channels, despite an explicit order by Judge Robert Pitman of the Texas District Court banning such activities.
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