Florida man faces fraud charges over $7.3M digital currency app scam

A Florida man has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle the fraud charges against him, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused him of scamming investors via the two companies he owned. One of the companies claimed to let users transact in digital currencies from their mobile phones while also developing an app that could detect COVID-19.

The SEC announced the charges against Aron Govil of Jacksonville, Florida, who is accused of defrauding investors in his two companies—Telidyne Inc. and Cemtrex Inc. In its suit, filed at the Southern District of New York, the watchdog accused Govil of making material misrepresentations to investors regarding Telidyne’s products.

Between April 2019 and May 2020, Govil reportedly told investors that Telidyne had developed the Teli App which allowed its users to transact digital currencies from their mobile phones. It also claimed to be working on an app that could detect COVID-19. The SEC claims these statements were false because the Teli App did not have the digital currency functionality.

In his other company, Cemtrex, Govil allegedly misappropriated over $7 million of users’ funds for personal expenses. He also allegedly secretly sold Cemtrex stock while paying off stock promoters to recommend it to unsuspecting investors as well as insider trading. In addition, he did not file with the SEC any of the required disclosures in connection to his Cemtrex trading.

Richard Best, the director of the SEC’s New York regional office remarked, “Govil allegedly flooded the market with paid-for buy recommendations for Cemtrex stock and made false claims about Telidyne’s development of mobile apps that would facilitate cryptocurrency transactions and help combat the coronavirus. Investors should be wary of online recommendations from unverified sources that appear to capitalize on the latest market trends and seem too good to be true.”

Govil has been charged with violating anti-fraud provisions as well as a rule that requires corporate directors to disclose transactions on their company stock.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Govil agreed to pay $626,782 disgorgement of funds plus a prejudgment amount standing at $76,693. He also agreed to pay a civil penalty amounting to $620,000. The judgment also allows the court to order any additional disgorgement or penalty against Govil if it deems it appropriate.

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