SEC chief who led crypto and ICO investigations is leaving the agency

Robert A. Cohen, the chief of the Cyber Unit at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is leaving the agency next month.

The SEC announced the news on Monday, saying that Cohen has resigned after 15 years of service, who previously worked as co-chief of the Market Abuse Unit. In his latest role as the chief of the Cyber Unit, Cohen focused on violations involving cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other cyber-related trading violations.

He led several cases, including suing Kik Interactive Inc. for allegedly selling unregistered securities as part of its $100 million ICO and settling a case involving professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer DJ Khaled, who allegedly failed to disclose payments they received for promoting investments in ICOs.

Cohen also supervised cases against Centra Tech’s $32 million ICO, EtherDelta and its principal Zachary Coburn for operating as an unregistered national securities exchange, Airfox’s $15 million ICO and Paragon Coin’s $12 ICO, among other cases.

"I’m grateful to Rob for his thoughtfulness, expertise and leadership in taking on the creation of the Cyber Unit," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. "He leaves the unit well-positioned to continue the critical work of protecting our markets and retail investors in this complex and continually developing area."