- SEC charged convicted criminal Boaz Manor, for raising over $30 million from hundreds of investors in a fraudulent ICO.
- Manor portrayed his New Jersey-based associate Edith Pardo as the owner of the businesses.
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged convicted criminal Boaz Manor, for raising over $30 million from investors in a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO).
As per the SEC’s complaint, in between August 2017 and September 2018, the defendants marketed and sold digital asset securities in a assertedly effort to build technologies for hedge funds and other investors in digital assets.
The alleged Manor is from Toronto, Canada,m. He had darkened his hair, grew a beard, and used aliases to hide his identity along with concealing the fact that he had served a year in prison on criminal charges raised from the collapse of a large Canadian hedge fund.
Further, according to the complaint, Manor portrayed his New Jersey-based associate Edith Pardo as the owner of the businesses, presenting himself as an employee of hers named “Shaun MacDonald.” Manor had also admitted to individual investors that he concealed his identity because its disclosure would destroy the company.
The complaint further alleges that the defendants have claimed to have 20 hedge funds testing technology to record transactions on a distributed ledger or blockchain. Though in actuality, the defendants had only sent a prototype to a dozen funds, and none of the funds had been used or paid for it.
Joseph G. Sansone, the Chief of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit stated that learning about the identity and background of the individual or individuals behind a venture is one of the essential things they tell investors to do before trusting anyone with their money.
He also added that as it had also been alleged in their complaint, Manor’s brazen scheme to conceal his identity and criminal history had deprived the investors of essential information and allowed the defendants to take over $30 million from investors’ pockets.
Parallel to this, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey announced criminal charges against Manor, a dual citizen of Canada and Israel, and Pardo, an Israeli citizen today.
The Manor-Pardo Fraud
SEC filed the complaint in federal court in New Jersey. According to the complaint Manor and Pardo have been charged for violating the anti-fraud as well as securities registration provisions imposed by the federal securities laws.
Along with it, it also seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest, penalties, and injunctive relief. The SEC also wants orders barring Manor and Pardo from acting as officers or directors of public companies. Additionally, they also want them to banished from participating in future securities offerings.
The SEC’s investigation is still ongoing. It was conducted by Tracy Sivitz, Jordan Baker, and Sandeep Satwalekar of SEC’s New York Regional Office. Along with them by Ann Marie Preissler and SimonaSuh of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit were also present. The given case has been supervised by Lara ShalovMehraban of the New York Office and by Mr Sansone.
The litigation by SEC would be led by Ms Sivitz, Ms Preissler, Mr Satwalekar, and Ms Suh. The SEC has also appreciated the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, New Jersey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Ontario Securities Commission, the Bank of Lithuania Supervision Service and various other institutions.