Operators of the scheduled-but-canceled Monkey Capital ICO have reportedly been hit with a $1.17 million judgment over alleged violations of Florida state and federal securities laws.
According to court papers, a group of investors alleges that Monkey Capital LLC, a Delaware company, and Monkey Capital Inc, a Singapore-based company, promoted an ICO and engaged in an unregistered sale of securities. Daniel Harrison, who is the son of a senior London financier, is accused of being the founder of the fraudulent scheme which is alleged to have lured investors from the U.S. to fund the creation of a new cryptocurrency.
The claims have been made in a civil class action filed in a Florida court.
Legal Risk Factor Beneath Ripple’s Lawsuit from SECGo to article >>
Monkey Capital was supposedly creating a platform on which cryptocurrency could be exchanged for other digital coins or fiat currency, as well as a decentralized hedge fund to invest in blockchain-related takeovers and speculating on cryptocurrencies.
For this purpose, the company launched cryptocurrency options called Coevals that they would later be able to exchange for Monkey Coins. Although the company extensively hyped the ICO, and investors bought the Coevals, no ICO took place, and thus Monkey coins had almost no value.
Furthermore, the plaintiff claims that the ICO website disappeared and the investments made in Coevals went only into Harrison’s pocket.
US District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks said that cryptocurrencies are securities and that the sale of Coevals was an unregistered offer and sale of securities and fraud, among other things, in violation of the Securities Act of 1933 and Florida state laws.