The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has fined the Russian analytical firm ICORating for failing to report payments for positive reviews of various ICO projects.
The analytical company ICORating evaluates investments in ICO projects. It includes team members of well-known cryptocurrency projects, such as NEO.
According to the SEC statement, the projects evaluated by ICORating between December 2017 and July 2018 raised funds through initial token offerings, which the SEC classifies as securities. Thus, the relevant disclosure should have been published for potential investors.
Melissa Hodgman, deputy director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said ICORating violated Section 17 (b) of the Securities Act of 1933.:
“Securities laws require promoters, including individuals and businesses, to disclose the compensation they receive for advertising investments, so that potential investors know that they are viewing information that has been paid for. This requirement applies regardless of whether the advertised securities are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain.”
The SEC announced it had reached an agreement with ICORating to pay a $268,998 fine. The analytics company agreed to pay a civil fine of $162,000 and $106,998 in interest, without commenting on the SEC’s findings.Earlier this month, SimplyVital Health settled a $6.3 million unregistered token sale case with the SEC. In addition, the Commission filed a complaint against a New Yorker and two of his companies on suspicion of conducting an unregistered ICO from the end of 2017 to 2018.