The SEC accused Michael Alan Stollery, the CEO of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services of Securities Fraud (TBIS), in a case that dates back to 2018. This was due to how the ICO of his platform had been handled.
This week saw a pivotal moment in the case, with Stollery admitting to one count for securities fraud. The ICO occurred between November 2017 & January 2018. It was one of many lesser than stellar coin offerings that took place during 2017’s boom.
The US Department of Justice stated that Stollery had admitted to falsifying portions of the whitepaper to attract foreign investors.
Stollery admitted that he falsified certain aspects of TBIS white papers to entice investors. These white papers purportedly provided investors and potential investors with an explanation of the cryptocurrency investment opportunity, including the purpose and technology of the offering, the differences between other opportunities and the prospects of the offering’s profitability.
In an attempt to give Titanium Blockchain legitimacy, the announcement also revealed that clients submitted false testimonials.
$21 Million in Investments
The ICO raised $21 million in Bitcoin, Ether and cash for the platform. This sum would likely have been much less impressive if it wasn’t for the above-mentioned shenanigans. The multi-million-dollar fumble doesn’t end there.
Further investigation by SEC and DOJ found that Stollery had admitted to mischief and misappropriating user money to pay for personal expenses, such as personal credit card bills or the lease for his condo in Hawaii.
SEC also said that Stollery did not properly register his company’s ICO. Officially, Stollery pleaded guilty only to one charge of securities fraud.
Stollery will be sentenced on 18th November. Stollery could spend up to 20 years prison if he is convicted by the federal courts, but that sentence will be subject to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. It is unlikely, however, that the sentence will be carried to the full extent of the law due to the guilty plea.
Marla Brooks – Financial Analysis
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