SEC charges man for defrauding $7 million from hundreds on fraudulent offerings of digital assets

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a Ivan Auzins for defrauding at least $7 million from hundreds of investors via two fraudulent offerings for digital asset securities. 

The agency alleges he was behind the unregistered offer and sale of digital asset securities in an initial coin offering as well as a purported digital asset cloud mining program. 

Auzins, is a citizen of Latvia and allegedly used fake names, profiles, and fictitious entities to carry out the fraud against US and foreign investors. The SEC claimed he misappropriated nearly all of the investor funds that were raised.

The SEC said Auzins’ scheme was part of an ICO of Denaro, a purported multi-currency debit card platform, from January 2018 through March 2018. He falsely claimed Denaro allowed users to store their digital assets in a secure digital wallet and then spend them “like any other debit card” which could be provided by a credit card issuer. 

In addition, Auzins allegedly offered the unregistered securities of a cloud mining program called Innovamine. The SEC said he falsely claimed investors could contribute digital assets to Innovamine, and then the company would perform mining activities and provide investors with a daily “automatic payout . . . in whichever coin they mine.”  

The complaint was filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.