US SEC Received $1.2B Fines from Illegal ICOs in 2020

News / 12.11.2020

The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that it received over $1.2 billion in fines from Illegal ICOs. This figure was part of the $4.86 billion generated by the financial watchdog from illegal fines and incomes in 2020.

The information was revealed in the SEC annual report for the current fiscal year and published in November. The SEC report also included a broad overview of the agency’s actions and included eight ICO judgments received in 2020.

The securities exchange had a busy year taking action in over 715 cases across different categories. This included insider trading, market manipulation, securities offerings, and other financial laundering acts.  Enforcement Division Director Stephanie Avakian stated that the amount received was the highest recorded by the commission in history. The SEC could obtain major judgments and orders in the past 10 months to achieve the milestone.

Telegram Fine Tops List

Instant Messaging giant Telegram topped the list of fines paid after the failure of its ICO. It should be noted that SEC had earlier in 2019 launched a successful lawsuit against Telegram regarding the sale of its Gram tokens.  The suit claimed that the ICO sale was illegal and wanted the messaging giant to stop its digital token development.

In a landmark, judgment Telegram was ordered to return $1.2 billion to investors and pay an $18 million fine. Hence this made up 26% of the amount generated from the SEC in illegal ICOs fine.

Instant messaging firm Kik was also fined $5 million by the SEC after a complaint against its unregistered securities sale. The other six cases mentioned in the report involve Bitclave Shopin, NAC Foundation, Unikrn, Boon Tech, and Bitcoiin2Gen.  It is estimated that the SEC could receive around $40 million from these firms in seizures.

However, the case against the NAC Foundation is still ongoing after a countersuit by the crypto firm. It alleges that the SEC mislead the court with conflicting reports about its dealings.  Nevertheless, the SEC’s record sum from illegal ICOs shows the problems crypto firms encounter with regulatory bodies.

Olowoporoku Adeniyi is a blockchain enthusiast and crypto evangelist. Currently he loves all things crypto and covers happenings within the blockchain space.