Texas State Securities Board settles with Abra

Quick Take

  • In June 2023, Texas officials filed enforcement actions against Abra and its CEO for alleged securities fraud and operating under insolvency.

The Texas State Securities Board announced Monday that it has settled in principle with Abra and its CEO, Bill Barhydt.

Abra is the common name for four affiliated companies controlled by Barhydt, which offered interest-bearing Abra Earn and Abra Boost programs.

The settlement made in Texas obligates Abra to notify users with balances exceeding $10 and grants them a seven-day withdrawal period. Unclaimed assets will be converted to fiat currency and sent to remaining Texas investors, the announcement said. Abra is given 30 days to fulfill its obligations.

On June 15, 2023, Texas officials filed an emergency cease and desist order against Abra and Barhydt, alleging that the operators committed securities fraud regarding Abra Earn and Abra Boost. The board alleged that the firms behind Abra hid financial troubles, including loan defaults and transfers to Binance, while nearing insolvency as of March 31 that year.


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At the time of the enforcement action, Abra had around $13.6 million worth of cryptocurrencies from over 12,000 U.S. investors. Barhydt noted to the block that the balance as of settlement is less than $500,000.

Per the settlement in principle, the board stated that it would dismiss actions filed against Abra on or after June 15, 2023.

This article and its headline have been corrected to clarify that Abra withdrawals were not frozen.

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© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Danny Park is an East Asia reporter at The Block writing on topics including Web3 developments and crypto regulations in the region. He was formerly a reporter at Forkast.News, where he actively covered the downfall of Terra-Luna and FTX. Based in Seoul, Danny has previously produced written and video content for media companies in Korea, Hong Kong and China. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Business Marketing from the University of Hong Kong.


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