The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged CG Blockchain Inc., BCT In. SEZC and their operators Boaz Manor and Edith Pardo with fraud, alleging he raised $30 million through an initial coin offering (ICO).
The SEC alleged in a press release Friday that Manor hid a past criminal conviction by working under an assumed name, passing himself off as an employee of Pardo's to raise funds for BCT. As part of this effort, Manor allegedly "darkened his hair [and] grew a beard" out of concerns his actual identity might be toxic to the company.
In a statement, SEC Market Abuse Unit co-chief Joseph Sansone said investors should always learn about the identities and backgrounds of those raising funds.
“As alleged in our complaint, Manor’s brazen scheme to conceal his identity and criminal history deprived investors of essential information and allowed defendants to take over $30 million from investors’ pockets," he said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey filed parallel criminal charges against Manor and Pardo, the SEC said.
Manor raised funds in 2017 and 2018 to build out a "Blockchain Terminal," a crypto-version of the famous Bloomberg Terminal, according to a 2018 article in The Block.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.