A New York judge has ordered federal authorities to freeze the assets linked to Dominic Lacroix, the Canadian man behind the alleged “fast-moving” PlexCoin investment scam.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on its website that it has secured a second emergency court order last week from a Brooklyn, New York court to supplement the initial emergency asset freeze issued against Lacroix in December.
According to the SEC, it requested for an additional asset freeze after it was discovered that Lacroix had been using secret accounts, including one in his brother’s name, to “improperly dissipate for personal use” the cryptocurrency obtained from investors of the PlexCoin initial coin offering (ICO).
In late 2017, the securities regulator filed charges against Lacroix, a man described as a recidivist securities law violator, his partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer, and his company PlexCorps, which was found to have sold PlexCoin securities on the Internet to investors in the United States and elsewhere. Lacroix marketed PlexCoin as “the next cryptocurrency” that would yield a 1,345 percent profit in less than 29 days.
PlexCoin’s ICO raised an estimated $15 million from thousands of investors since August 2017, when the pre-sale was launched, according to the SEC. The investors were promised a 13-fold profit in less than a month.
On its website, the company described PlexCoin as “the next decentralized worldwide cryptocurrency, based on the Ethereum structure” that investors can use to “buy products and services or invest,” just like any other fiat currency. PlexCoin holders will also have the option to withdraw their tokens “in cryptocurrency ATMs around the world” and exchange them for cash, according to the company.
Lacroix, Paradis-Royer and PlexCorps face charges of violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act. Lacroix and PlexCorps face additional charges of violating Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act.
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.