The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is taking steps to enforce a subpoena against an investment company and its sole trustee, over allegations of their fraudulent involvement in a $100-million initial coin offering (ICO).
In a statement published this week, the securities regulator said it was asking a district court to assist in enforcement action, as it continues to examine whether Jeffre James and Saint James Holding and Investment Company was involved in a “pump and dump” scheme around shares in Cherubim Interests, Inc.
The commission said it had reason to suspect Cherubim had misled investors around the SJTCoin. In particular, they suggest false public statements had been used to generate significant demand pressures in the market for Cherubim shares, which were later exploited by the Saint James and their trustee.
SEC said following its ongoing investigation, it has reason to believe that in a bid to “pump” its stock price, Cherubim issued false public statements in January 2018 claiming that the company had executed a $100,000,000 financing commitment to launch an ICO for St. James Trust.
“After Cherubim’s stock price and trading volume increased on this news, certain individuals associated with the company may have ‘dumped’ their overvalued Cherubim stock for significant profits,” according to the regulator.
Despite being personally served with court documents, neither James nor Saint James have responded to date. As a result, the SEC has now progressed matters through the courts, in a bid to obtain the requested documents from both parties.
The SEC said it is seeking “an order from the court compelling James and St. James Trust to produce all responsive documents.” The court must now decide whether to compel the parties to cooperate, in submitted the documents requested under the subpoena.
The news is in line with the SEC’s warning issued back in August 2017 that it would pursue those using ICOs to defraud and scam unsuspecting crypto investors.
It marks the latest high profile case involving the SEC, as the regulator continues to make its presence felt around dubious investments and outright scams blighting the cryptocurrency sector.
It remains to be seen whether Saint James, or Jeffre James himself, will now step up their cooperation with the authorities investigating the issue.
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