The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued an officer and director bar, a penny stock bar as well as a fine of $30,000 to one fraudulent ICO founder. As the official press release noted, SEC smacked David T. Laurence for taking part in deceitful security offerings.
As the LinkedIn profile of David T. Laurence shows, he is the president and CEO of the oil drilling company named Tomahawk Exploration LLC. He has been working in the company for over eight years.
In June 2017, Laurence started creating “Tomahawkcoins” in an attempt to raise $5 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). The project which he planned would then use the capital to drill ten wells in California.
What the SEC found suspicious here was the false information provided in Laurence’s ICO. As they stated, the ICO statements ”
used inflated projections of oil production” and claimed that Tomahawk had already obtained leases for drilling on the sites. The firm also tried to portray Laurance as a principled individual by claiming that he had a “flawless background”.
Even though the ICO was not successful in raising money – the company set up a bounty program to trade the Tomahawkcoins with online promotional services. As a result, both Laurance and Tomahawk were given cease and desist orders – and they chose to avoid denying or accepting the claims.
The SEC is now confident that scammers are luring people in their projects by offering high returns on investment (ROI) and this ‘trend’ is on the rise. This is why the agency also created a search tool at Investor.gov which contains all the details of various investment professionals – as well as a tool named SEC Action Lookup – Individuals (SALI) which will identify investors convicted by the SEC.
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