Two ‘fraudulent’ ICOs hit with cease-and-desist in New Jersey

New Jersey’s securities watchdog has issued cease-and-desist orders against two “fraudulent” initial coin offerings (ICOs) that promoted “unregistered” securities in the state.

The two ICOs - Zoptax and Unocall - violated laws and made materially false and misleading statements in connection to their offerings, said the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, on Wednesday.

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Zoptax was seeking to raise between $500,000 and $3.4 million for its Zoptax Coins, while Unocall was issuing tokens and was offering investors an opportunity to earn guaranteed interest of “0.18% - 0.88%” per day, through its staking program, the Bureau said.

The cease-and-desist orders are part of “Operation Cryptosweep” by the watchdog, which started in January 2019. Since then, the operation has resulted in at least 85 pending or completed enforcement actions involving ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products, and approximately 330 inquiries or investigations by securities regulators from U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

In a similar development, the Texas State Securities Board also issued a cease-and-desist order on Wednesday, to a forex and bitcoin trader who touted a 900% return in 14 days.

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Yogita Khatri is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things crypto. As one of the earliest team members, Yogita has played a pivotal role in breaking numerous stories, exclusives and scoops. With nearly 3,000 articles under her belt, Yogita holds the records as The Block's most-published and most-read author of all time. Prior to joining The Block, Yogita worked at crypto publication CoinDesk and The Economic Times, where she wrote on personal finance. To contact her, email: [email protected]. For her latest work, follow her on X @Yogita_Khatri5.

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