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With the fine from Telegram making the bulk of the charge on ICOs by the SEC, other projects also bowed to the SEC’s pressures and collectively coughed out about 40 million dollars in fines.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saw one of its profitable years ever with respect to cash seized from firms including crypto Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that fell under its regulatory purview. According to a report by Cointelegraph, the SEC raked in about $4.68 billion, with more than one quarter from unregistered ICOs and crypto-related firms.
The report noted that the record-breaking sum of money was realized by the Enforcement Division of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and they were proceeds from illegal income bordering on the activities of Wall Street firms, insider trading fines, ICOs amongst others. As highlighted, about $1.26 billion dollars was accrued from SEC nabbed unregistered ICOs.
“The Commission obtained judgments and orders totaling approximately $4.68 billion in disgorgement and penalties – the highest amount on record,” said Stephanie Avakian, SEC Division of Enforcement Director.
For the year as contained in the SEC report, the commission took action in a total of 715 cases, with 405 bordering on a range of categories including market manipulation, securities offerings, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and insider trading amongst others. Of the seized sum, about $600 million was returned to investor victims.
Telegram: the Major Brunt of the SEC Clampdown on ICOs
Telegram has been tagged as the firm which suffered the major fines from the SEC with respect to its Gram Token ICO back in 2019. Back in October 2019, The SEC filed an emergency lawsuit against the Telegram Open Network in a bid to halt its Gram ICO sales. After a series of legal battles, Telegram agreed to pay the sum of $1.2 billion to its Gram token investors while also paying a fine of $18.5 million.
With the fine from Telegram making the bulk of the charge on ICOs by the SEC, other projects such as the Bitclave, Shopin, NAC Foundation, Unikrn, Boon Tech, and Bitcoiin2Gen, also bowed to the SEC’s pressures and collectively coughed out about 40 million dollars in fines.
The SEC is most successful in its attempt to clamp down on fraudulent business schemes in the US thanks to its whistleblowing policy. The scheme has not only helped the SEC track illegal funds, but it has also profited the whistleblowers immensely. As Cointelegraph reported, about 39 whistleblowers have been awarded a total sum of $175 million with one individual carting away with about $114 million about three weeks ago.
With its productivity, the whistleblowing policy has been hailed as a “critical component of the Commission’s efforts to detect wrongdoing and protect investors in the marketplace.”