The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has submitted an official civil action case document seeking the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains plus interest for the alleged unregistered ICO sale of Opporty (OPP) tokens.
The case, brought against Sergii Grybniak and his company Opporty, is the latest in an ever-growing list of SEC cases against ICO sales.
SEC filings allege that 35-year-old Grybniak from Brooklyn, New York failed to file a registration statement with the SEC for Opporty’s ICO sale, nor were investors made aware of the operational and financial risks of investing in the project.
Grybniak is believed to be the sole operator and executive of Opporty.
He is said to have sold the unlicensed securities, called OPP tokens, to approximately 200 American investors, raising $600,000 from the sale.
SEC officials also allege that Grybniak made deliberately misleading statements to investors.
The SEC statement reads:
“The defendants promoted and marketed Opporty’s ICO of OPP tokens and raised the $604,000 in offering proceeds by making material misrepresentations and omissions to investors and engaging in other deceptive conduct during the offering.”
Officials allege that Opporty falsely claimed that it had partnered with a major software company, using its logo and trademarked images in its marketing materials without the company’s knowledge.
Likewise, the SEC claims that Grybniak and Opporty had told investors in official documentation that the ICO sale had already been registered with the SEC and was “100% compliant” with federal securities laws.
The SEC is now seeking the return of the full $600,000 Grybniak raised through Opporty and his permanent ban from acting as an officer or director of any US public company.
Nowhere to hide?
Many members of the crypto community have noted the SEC’s aggressive stance towards ICO operators following several high-profile cases during the last year.
Most notable is the SEC’s ongoing battle with Telegram for its $1.7 billion GRAM token sale, which the SEC says was a sale of unlicensed securities.
Other cases so far this year have included action against ICOBox founder Nikolay Evdokimov for his role in an alleged $14 million unregistered ICO, and charges against two cryptocurrency fraudsters from Canada for their role in an alleged $30 million ICO scam.
The SEC also issued a stark warning to investors thinking of participating in initial exchange offerings (IEOs), saying they are simply another iteration of dangerous ICO sales.
You can read more about the SEC and its stance on ICO sales here.