ICO incubator ICOBox sees SEC bill increase as it ignores ruling

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) went after ICOBox last September, arguing that the cryptocurrency initial coin offering (ICO) incubator was operating illegally. It had held its own ICO in 2017, reportedly attracting as much as $16 million, but also brokered other deals – also illegally – that saw it gather around $650 million. The SEC ultimately handed down a ruling against the company, as well as founder Nikolay Evdokimov, this past January, but Evdokimov has so far refused to step forward. Now, the SEC is getting help from the courts to collect the $16 million it wants ICOBox to cough up.

According to Law360 (paywall), A federal judge in California has sided with the SEC in its request for a default judgment against ICOBox and Evdokimov. When the commission first targeted ICOBox last September, the director of its LA Regional Office, Michele Wein Layne, explained, “By ignoring the registration requirements of the federal securities laws, ICOBox and Evdokimov exposed investors to investments, which are now virtually worthless, without providing information that is critical to making informed investment decisions.”

In light of his refusal to come forward, the federal judge has ordered Evdokimov to pay $192,768 in the form of a civil penalty, while ICOBox must make good on the previously-announced $16-million award. If he doesn’t respond within 14 days from the date of the ruling, which was March 6, he could face even bigger fines and legal issues.

Evdokimov apparently doesn’t seem to be too concerned about the judgment. Despite the attention it’s gotten and the SEC’s repeated attempts to contact him, he remains elusive. The SEC explained when it asked for the court’s intervention, “After service of the complaint was effected at ICOBox’s office, the premises [were] vacated, with several months’ rent left unpaid. Efforts to email Evdokimov’s last known address … garnered no response (though no emails bounced back).”

Going by “Nick Evdokimov” on Twitter, the last time he was active was in December 2018. The absent manager of ICOBox is reportedly also behind a stablecoin, SRL, which is reportedly based out of San Marino and has been active on social media as recently as this past January. However, nothing more recent can be found and there’s no indication that it is traded on any reputable exchange.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.