SEC charges yet another firm over unregistered ICO

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged blockchain firm Opporty International and its founder Sergii "Sergey" Grybniak for conducting an unregistered initial coin offering (ICO).

The SEC announced Tuesday that Opporty and Grybniak raised around $600,000 from nearly 200 investors by selling unregistered securities in the form of “OPP Tokens” during 2017-2018.

They falsely claimed that the ICO was "SEC regulated" and "SEC compliant," the regulator alleged.

A complaint alleges that Grybniak marketed Opporty's ICO as a means to raise funds to develop Opporty's "blockchain-based ecosystem for small businesses and their customers'' primarily in the U.S. He pitched Opporty's platform “as a place where small businesses could list their services and products, use blockchain smart contracts to enter into agreements with customers, and transact business using OPP Tokens.”

The complaint also names Clever Solution Inc., another entity controlled by Grybniak, as a relief defendant.

The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and civil penalties against Grybniak and Opporty, as well as an officer-and-director bar against Grybniak. The case is ongoing at the New York Eastern District court.

Just last week, the SEC filed a civil suit against Boaz Manor, business partner Edith Pardo and two companies in connection with an allegedly fraudulent ICO that raised $30 million. Earlier this month, the regulator was also seeking over $16 million in disgorgements and civil penalties from the token sale platform ICOBox and its founder Nikolay Evdokimov.