The US Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an additional emergency court order from a federal court in Brooklyn, New York freezing assets linked to Dominic Lacroix, the founder of PlexCoin whose assets were frozen when the its ICO was halted amid a fraud investigation in December 2017.
Announcing the court order in a communique issued on June 20, the SEC revealed that the request for an additional asset freeze was necessitated by Lacroix’s actions following the initial freeze, which included using secret accounts to withdraw and distribute sums of cryptocurrency obtained from investors in the PlexCoin ICO.
Canadian citizen Lacroix has a long and colorful history of run-ins with financial regulators. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to six counts of “illegal placement, illegal practice, and transmission of false or misleading information” in Quebec, resulting in a fine of $25,000 CAD.
Four years later in October 2017, CCN.com reported that Lacroix and other individuals involved in the PlexCoin ICO fell foul of Quebec’s Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), the principal financial regulator in the Canadian province. That same month, the Quebec Superior Court held him in contempt of court because he flouted an earlier judgment that proscribed him from soliciting investors or holding an ICO in the province.
Shortly afterward in December 2017, the SEC charged him with violating anti-fraud regulations regarding the PlexCoin ICO, citing promises made in ICO marketing material of 1,354 percent profits on PlexCoin holdings in less than a month. Alongside his associate Sabrina Paradis-Royer and his company PlexCorps, he was also charged with flouting SEC ‘Reg D’ registration requirements for securities offerings.
By that time, he was estimated to have fleeced PlexCoin ICO investors for as much as $15 million, and so the SEC successfully applied for an emergency asset freeze against PlexCorps, the company behind the ICO while the investigation went on.
Described as a “recidivist securities law violator” by the SEC at the time, the commission sought injunctions, disgorgement and penalties to ensure that Lacroix could never again front an ICO or serve in any capacity where he would handle investor money in a public company.
In the most recent statement, Lacroix is again described as a “recidivist securities law violator” by the SEC which clearly takes a very dim view of his antics.
The statement reads in part:
“The SEC’s request for an additional asset freeze, filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, alleges that, since the original freeze in December, Lacroix had been using secret accounts, including an account in his brother’s name but which he controlled, to improperly dissipate for personal use digital assets obtained from investors during the PlexCoin Initial Coin Offering (ICO)…The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement plus interest, and penalties. For Lacroix, the SEC also seeks an officer-and-director bar and a bar from offering digital securities against Lacroix and Paradis-Royer.”
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Last modified: May 20, 2020 8:40 PM UTC