Texas regulator halts network of crypto-related operations

July 13, 2018
Chris Wheal

A Texas regulator has taken action to stop a network of cryptocurrency-related operations from offering unregulated investments in the state.

Lone Star State’s regulator issues cease and desist order to a network of crypto operations

The Texas State Securities Board announced on Thursday that emergency action had been taken to “stop a network of companies from fraudulently offering cryptocurrency investments to Texas residents”.

Network of companies

Companies named in the cease and desist order were mainly Utah-based. Mintage Mining, Symatri, NUI Social, Social Membership Network Holding and BC Holdings and Investments were all controlled by Darren Olayan of Lehi, Utah.

Affiliates of NUI Social – Douglas Whetsell of Utah and Wyatt McCullough of Houston, Texas – were also named in the cease and desist order.

The order alleges “widespread violations of the Texas Securities Act” by all the named entities and individuals.

Unregistered securities sales

The Commissioner said in the notice: “None of the persons offering any of the investments are registered to sell securities in Texas, nor are the investments themselves registered for sale or have qualified for an exemption from registration.”

The violations included “making deceptive claims to the public”: for example, Olayan’s Mintage Mining told investors that the company was in compliance with state securities laws.

All named parties were ordered to immediately cease and desist from offering sales of securities in Texas until the securities were either registered or exempted.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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