The Texas State Security Board (TSSB) has issued cease-and-desist orders to two separate investment schemes involving bitcoin. The basis for the claims alleges that the firms are offering unregistered securities up for sale, and making misleading statements involving guaranteed returns on risky investments.
The first of the two orders has the securities regulator setting its sights on New York-based Forex EA & Bitcoin Investment LLC, along with the two marketers associated with the company, James Butcher and Richard Dunn. According to the order, Forex EA & Bitcoin Investment LLC is being fraudulently marketed as promising 1000% returns on investments. Marketing materials for the company read:
“An investment of $500.00 in the Forex and Bitcoin trading program will return $5,000.00 in twenty-one calendar days…[and] an investment of $1,000.00 in the Forex and Bitcoin trading program will return $10,000.00 in twenty-one calendar days.”
They also boldly claim that there is “no risk” and returns are "100% assured and that there is no possible way investors can lose money.” Anyone who has invested in the crypto space since the start of 2018 knows that is impossible to guarantee.
The second order targets UK-based cryptocurrency cloud mining company Bitcoin Trading and Cloud Mining Limited, also known as BTCRUSH, along with four of the company’s executives: Founder and CEO Bruce Rodgerson, Chief Marketing Officer Robin Lozinski, Sales Rep Thomas A. Johnson, and Director Jaylon Cross.
The Texas State Security Board alleges that BTCRUSH misled investors by promising a 4.1 percent daily interest from their investment in their mining program, independent from the profitability related to the cryptocurrency being mined. Their marketing materials state:
“A principal investment of $10,000.00 for a term of 365 days returns approximately $17.08 per hour, $410.00 per day and $149,650.00 per year.”
The TSSB also states that BTCRUSH is misleading investors by altering stock footage of unrelated mining farms, claiming the footage is of three mining farms operated by BTCRUSH.
Non-compliance with these cease-and-desist orders could call for up to ten years in a Texas prison.