The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached a settlement with two men charged with profiting from illegal sales of stock related to a company claiming to be involved in blockchain technology.
In pressing those charges earlier this month, the SEC claimed attorney T.J. Jesky and his law firm’s business manager Mark F.DeStefano made approximately $1.4 million by selling shares in Hong Kong-based UBI Blockchain Internet Ltd., over a 10-day period from December 26, 2017 to January 5, 2018.
The two Nevada men are accused of selling 72,000 restricted shares at inflated rates ranging from $21.12 to $48.40 after they initially received those shares with the permission to sell them at a fixed price of $3,70 per unit under the terms of the agreement. The SEC, citing concerns in the accuracy of the company’s public filings and the suspicious market activity, moved to suspend trading of the UBI Blockchain stock on January 5.
“This case is a prime example of why the SEC has warned retail investors to be cautious before buying stock in companies that suddenly claim to have a blockchain business,” Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, said at the time.
With an update, the SEC has now revealed that both Nevada men have “without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC complaint”, agreed to return the $1.4 million of their alleged ill-gotten gains. The two men will also be subject to permanent injunctions and will also pay $188,682 in civil penalties, the SEC said.