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SEC files charges against lobbyist Jack Abramoff for fraud in AML Bitcoin ICO promotion

The SEC filed charges against Jack Abramoff and Rowland Marcus Andrade for misleading investors.

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Fri, 26 Jun 2020, 14:13 pm UTC

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges on June 25, 2020, against lobbyist Jack Abramoff for conducting a fraudulent offering in connection with the AML Bitcoin initial coin offering, according to Cointelegraph. The recent suit is a follow up on a criminal filing on June 22 in San Francisco.

In the criminal charges filed on June 22, the SEC said that Rowland Marcus Andrade and his NAC Foundation were able to raise around $5.6 million during the initial coin offering (ICO) of AML Bitcoin. The ICO ran from August 2017 until 2018.

The papers submitted on June 22 did not specifically mention the name of Jack Abramoff but mentioned of a “Co-Schemer.” It was only revealed in the SEC’s June 25 charges that the individual referred to as “Co-Schemer” is Abramoff.

SEC accused the Andrade and Abramoff of false promotion. The government agency also accused Andrade of diverting millions of investor funds for personal use.

“NAC and Andrade falsely claimed that multiple government agencies were negotiating to use AML BitCoin, and Abramoff and Andrade falsely claimed that they were on the verge of advertising AML BitCoin during the Super Bowl in an effort to create interest in the offering, despite NAC being unable to afford the cost of the ad,” the SEC said.

“Abramoff also allegedly arranged for NAC to pay for purportedly independent articles about AML BitCoin that included many of the misleading statements,” the SEC added in a press release. “The SEC further alleges that Andrade directed a market manipulation strategy to boost the token’s trading volume and price and diverted approximately $1.1 million from the offering for his personal use.”

Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit Kristina Littman said that both Andrade and Abramoff misled investors by making false claims. “We allege that these defendants repeatedly misled investors into funding non-existent technology, falsely claiming that the technology would make digital asset transactions more secure,” Littman said. “Investors are entitled to truthful information so they can make fully informed investment decisions.”

SEC reported that Andrade and Abramoff are also parallel criminal actions initiated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. According to CNN, Abramoff has pleaded guilty to these charges and could be facing up to five years in jail.

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