Texas takes chainsaw to crypto frauds

Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles has moved to stop a network of companies from fraudulently offering cryptocurrency-related investments to Texas residents.

The companies named in an Emergency Cease and Desist Order are controlled by Darren Olayan of Lehi, Utah, and are as follows:

  • Mintage Mining, which is accused of illegally and fraudulently issuing and offering two different investments in the mining of cryptocurrencies;

 

  • Symatri, which issued a new cryptocurrency called Kala and, with Mintage Mining, is offering investors the opportunity to own and possess pre-configured computer hardware to mine Kala;

 

  • NUI Social, a multi-level marketing company that purports to have more than 300,000 members in 140 countries. NUI recruits individuals for the cryptocurrency investments, with some of its members eligible to earn commissions for the people they recruit.

 

The order also names Wyatt McCullough, who maintains an address in Houston and is affiliated with NUI Social. McCullough and a third individual, William Douglas Whetsell, are publishing advertisements targeting Texas residents. These claim that Mintage can generate extraordinary returns – up to 250% annually – by successfully mining cryptocurrencies.

Those involved are accused of widespread violations of the Texas Securities Act, including making deceptive claims to the public. Olayan and Mintage Mining, for instance, are telling investors that Mintage is “in compliance” with securities laws, “works to always stay ahead of cryptocurrency regulation,” and “remain[s] so continually by keeping in contact with legal firms.”

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