He’s Making Millions With A Dodgy ICO – Crypto Influencer Caught By The SEC
Opaque agreements – The US SEC is suing an influencer who allegedly promoted theICOs Sparkster (SPRK) tokens about four years ago.
ICO Sparkster: an influencer in the sights of the SEC
These videos of the time are likely to cost him dearly. According to one complaint filed on September 19 with the District Court for the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas, the SEC accuses the YouTuber and investor Ian Balinato have done the advertisement of an offering of unregistered securities for Sparkster tokens, without having disclosed the remuneration he received for promoting this ICO.
Sparkster presents itself as a low-code development platform. The ICO he had conducted between April and July 2018 had enabled the startup to raise $30 million. The SEC is now attacking the promotional communication campaigns carried out by Ian Balina in favor of this ICO, both on YouTube and on Telegram.
For the agency, the influencer has no not been transparent about the negotiations he had conducted privately with the Sparkster team, while giving a glowing speech about the company.
These discussions aimed to allow Ian Balina, tobuy SPRK tokens worth 7,143 ethers (ETH), or about $5 million at the time of the sale. These tokens were intended for resale. The youtubeur would also have received a 30% bonus to promote the ICO.
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Sparkster tokens: from one unregistered offer to another
The SEC is also suing Ian Balina, for the SPRK tokens he had resold using ” of an investment pool he organized “. By proceeding with this resale, the investor would thus have conducted his own unregistered offer of SPRK tokens.
The document tabled by the committee also contains passages which attempt to justify his competence to initiate these legal proceedings, targeting the ICO and the transactions carried out in this investment pool.
The agency specifies that the ICO of Sparkster had seen the participation of nearly 4,000 investors based in the United States and abroad. Ian Balina’s investment pool contained about fifty people, including US residents.
Also, the nodes that validated ether transactions in this pool, would have been “ more densely clustered in the United States than in any other country “. The regulator also pointed out that at the time of the ICO, Ian Balina resided in the United States, in Potomac, Maryland.
Years pass, but the SEC continues to attack players who have participated in old ICOs that violate securities rules. In August of this year, she took on three dragons involved in a 2017 ICO.
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