The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) has announced a series of enforcement actions against 15 online investment entities that illegally market cryptocurrency, binary options, and forex investments in Texas.
Fake Social Media Accounts
The regulator alleges that operators of the companies are using their social media skills as well as the internet to mask the fraudulent nature of their operations. The emergency enforcement order, therefore, stops the flagged companies from continuing to operate from the state of Texas until they get a license from the regulator.
Meanwhile, in his comments that accompany the cease and desist orders, TSSB Commissioner Travis J. Iles highlights key observations made by his organization when dealing with online trading investment companies. He says:
This series of actions clearly demonstrate the risk of dealing with trendy online investment platforms. Investors can’t afford to take everything at face value when transacting over the internet. They need to thoroughly investigate before they invest – because, on the internet, anyone can fake a trading license, publish phoney testimonials or falsely claim to be regulated by an offshore agency.
According to the statement released by Iles, the first 10 entities that were hit with a cease and desist order were all linked to James Blundell, an unregistered binary trader. Blundell is accused of using fake social media accounts, forging documents, and making fraudulent claims to entice his victims.
Unregistered Investment Platforms
The TSSB discovered that Blundell, who purports to be a resident of Texas, has “at least three Instagram accounts, seven Facebook websites and one Linkedin profile (that he uses) to recruit victims.” In the cease and desist order, Blundell is accused of using his “broad social media presence to tout his expertise in the cryptocurrency markets, as well as his dealings in binary options and forex trading.”