Today, a leading cryptocurrency court in the United States has convicted five accused individuals of taking part in a complex manipulation of digital asset prices. The accused are charged with market manipulation of HYDRO tokens, which caused losses of approximately $2M for investors.
The team of defendants included five individuals from three countries. They were charged with violating the Securities Act of 1933 and other fraud associated with the manipulation of digital assets. Gary Davis, a partner at the firm that represented the defendants, stated that his clients had acted in good faith and had not deceived investors. He also praised the court for its ruling, noting that the court “recognized the complexity of the cryptocurrency markets and the need to ensure investor protection. The court acquired the necessary expertise to assure that appropriate charges were brought and justice was served.”
This case marks an important victory for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which had been investigating the case since 2018. It is the first time the SEC has brought charges against alleged digital asset manipulators. The case also serves as a warning to all cryptocurrency traders and investors as to the level of surveillance regulators are willing to bring to bear against potential fraudsters.
In a statement, the SEC’s Enforcement Division director, Stephanie Avakian, said that the conviction “demonstrates that the SEC is taking appropriate steps to protect investors from manipulative and deceptive practices in the markets for digital assets.” She continued by stressing that “investors should remain vigilant and alert to the risks of investing in digital-asset securities.”
This case sends a clear message that the SEC is taking fraud and manipulation seriously and is prepared to prosecute actors that attempt to illegally manipulate the market. It is now more important than ever for investors to do their due diligence before investing in a digital asset.