Quebecers cited in alleged virtual currency scam now facing USA charges

SEC's cyber unit charges Canadian firm with coin offering fraud

SEC Freezes Assets of PlexCoin ICO Organizer, Halts $15 Million Scam

According to the press release, the SEC filed the charges in a federal court in NY where it "alleges that Lacroix and PlexCorps marketed and sold securities called PlexCoin on the internet to investors in the USA and elsewhere, claiming that investments in PlexCoin would yield a 1,354 percent profit in less than 29 days".

Assets have been frozen in relation to anti-fraud charges filed by the SEC's Cyber Unit.

According to Reuters, the SEC also said that it had obtained an emergency order to stop the ICO and freeze assets so they could attempt to refund investors.

The SEC said investors have purchased about 81 million PlexCoin tokens for about $15 million since the ICO was launched in June. In addition, both Lacroix and PlexCorps have been charged with violating the United States federal securities laws' registration provision.

As per the SEC complaint, Lacroix, Paradis-Royer, and PlexCorps have been charged with violation of anti-fraud provisions.

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Lacroix's PlexCorps company and his "romantic partner", Sabrina Paradis-Royer, were also named as defendants in a civil complaint in which the SEC says Lacroix enticed investors by claiming that if all 400 million PlexCoin tokens for sale were sold, they would reap returns of 1,354% in 29 days or less. The charges are the result of regulatory collaboration with the Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF). In 2013, he and one of his companies pleaded guilty to six counts of "illegal placement, illegal practice, and transmission of false or misleading information" and were fined $25,000 CAD.

According to the SEC, PlexCorps' ICO "hit all of the characteristics of a full-fledged cyber scam", offering "false promises" (a 13x return) to the thousands of get-rich-quick hopefuls. Lacroix, Paradis-Royer and PlexCorps have been charged with violating the anti-fraud provisions, and Lacroix and PlexCorps with violating the registration provision, of the US federal securities laws.

The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction, a judgement ordering the defendants to disgorge the profits with interest and to pay financial penalties, the agency said. Labelling Lacroix a "recidivist...securities law violator", the complaint finally seeks to bar Lacroix from serving as a director or officer of a public company.

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