In what seems to be an almost a weekly action, the Texas State Securities Board has snared another bad actor it alleges was using the crypto space to commit fraud.
Texas regulators have tapped down another outfit that it found to be embroiled in a crypto plot to rip off unwitting investors.
This time it’s a company called Wind Wide Coin, which was brazen enough to claim actress Jennifer Aniston and even Prince Charles were affiliated with it.
The Texas State Securities Board has made it clear that it will not tolerate predators who think the crypto space is the ideal market to carry out their bad deeds. In this latest action, this outfit allegedly used the likeliness of and testimonials of these people to boost their legitimacy.
On Tuesday, the securities board filed an emergency cease and desist order against Wind Wide Coin, accusing it of an offering an illegitimate securitized cryptocurrency program. The action notes that this company’s officials tried to dupe people by claiming it was affiliated with Hollywood’s A list, which as noted above, includes Prince Charles. Also on the list was Finland Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
Specifically, this company claimed these figures were “satisfied clients of the firm.”
Joe Rotunda, the Director of the Texas State Securities Board Enforcement Division, said the red flags about this company not being legitimate were the same as others that were found to be fraudulent. For example, the location provided to investors was found to be “phony.” Also, contrary to its reported claims, Wind Wide Coin had not registered as a corporation with the Texas Secretary of State.
As for those testimonials from Aniston, Prince Charles and Matti – they’ve been removed from the company’s website.
“The company is also accused of fraud and deception by claiming it is a licensed business, that it is a corporation and that it maintains an address in Houston, Texas. The Enforcement Division’s investigation revealed that Wind Wide Coin is not authorized to transact business in Texas as a corporation and that it is providing investors with a phony address that simply does not exist.”
Not having it
We’ve reported to you several times on Texas cracking down on bad actors in the crypto space. In fact, this is the second time the state has gone after an outfit that claimed affiliation with a popular figure to try to boost their legitimacy.
Earlier this year, for example, the Enforcement Division discovered that LeadInvest was using a photograph of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to deceptively tout the credentials of its legal team.
Earlier this month, the state learned that BTCRUSH was allegedly using fake videos to depict three cryptocurrency mining farms, Rotunda said. After the Enforcement Division secured emergency actions against LeadInvest and BTCRUSH, the foundation of the schemes crumbled and the parties either withdrew from the U.S. or terminated their online sales platforms, Rotunda added.
This action is a reminder that, step by step and case by case, we’ve been uncovering a virtual playbook of tactics employed by promoters of illegal and fraudulent cryptocurrency investment programs.
“Although their names may change and their products may vary, these promoters are employing surprisingly similar schemes. They are often promising lucrative returns from sophisticated investments tied to cryptocurrencies, and then manipulating photographs, media, testimonials and other online information to deceive the public into believing their claims.”