Dominic Lacroix, one of the individuals behind Plexcoin’s fraudulent ICO, has been ordered by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) in Quebec to surrender more than $3 million in Bitcoin. Originally reported by Radio Canada, the move comes as the latest in a series of steps taken against fake ICOs and other illegal cryptocurrency-related activities by North American authorities.
Judge Raymond W. Pronovost told Lacroix that he had 24 hours to turn in any Bitcoins in his possession. Lacroix returned empty-handed to court the next day, saying that his Bitcoins were on computers that had been seized by authorities. The computers were subsequently brought into the courtroom, and Lacroix ordered to transfer them immediately. He complied.
Plexcoin Has Been the Subject of Regulatory Attention Since 2017
Lacroix was originally ordered not to go ahead with the launch of the ICO in July of 2017. Regardless, the ICO moved forward in August 2017 and raised roughly $15 million. Lacroix’s defiance earned him a contempt of court charge and a two-month jail sentence. Additionally, he and DL Innov (his company) were served with a $110,000 fine.
PlexCoin subsequently caught the eye of the United States SEC. In December of 2017, the Commission moved to seize Lacroix’s assets in another attempt “to halt a fast-moving Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fraud that raised up to $15 million from thousands of investors since August by falsely promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month.”
Judge in #plexcoin scam case made the ceo transfer 3.6 million worth of #BTC on his iPhone to a special set up custody account in the court room . First of its kind? @APompliano @carterthomas #cryptocurrencynews @Cointelegraph @BTCTN
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— BITCOINTRUTH (@BITCOINBEGIN1) July 22, 2018
Authorities Across North America Crack Down
In response to the SEC, Plexcoin filed a motion stating that the SEC was “engaged in a tremendous overreach, toward persons who are not subject to personal jurisdiction in this judicial district, and toward transactions that are excluded from regulation under U.S. federal securities laws.”
Then, in mid-June, the SEC officially obtained an emergency court order to freeze Lacroix’s assets.
In May, the North American Securities Administrators Association launched ‘Operation Cryptosweep,’ a coordinated effort between North American regulators and law enforcement agencies to eliminate fraud from the ICO space. Recently, the AMF has taken action against two other ICOs: Antivolatility and ZZZ. The founders of both have been ordered to appear before the AMF on August 10.