Bitcoin Investment Firm USI-Tech Receives Cease And Desist Orderbr>
Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles has issued an emergency cease-and-desist order against USI-Tech Limited, a Dubai-based firm that is promising low-risk, triple-digit returns from investments tied to bitcoin mining.
Calling itself a technology company, USI-Tech claims to specialize in developing hi-tech automated trading software for the forex and bitcoin market. The company claimed that in the last eight years, more than 100 software versions with different characteristics have been developed and deployed in long-term tests.
According to the enforcement staff of the State Securities Board, USI-Tech has been trying to sell investment contracts in “dozens of Texas cities” by way of social media videos, dedicated websites, and advertisements on sites like Craigslist. USI-Tech and its US sales agents are allegedly telling potential investors the mining contract is a “certified legal product in the USA, per the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).”
USI-Tech’s website claims that through their long and medium-term strategies used in the past, they’ve been able to help affiliates earn up to 150% per year as a return on investment. The company also claims that potential investors can earn up to 35% commissions by convincing other individuals to invest in the company’s bitcoin platform.
The Securities Board said neither USI-Tech nor the sales agents, Clifford Thomas of Suitland and Michael Rivera of Los Angeles, are registered to sell securities in Texas. The investment also is not registered in the state.
The Securities Board added that the FTC has no role in regulating registration of the mining investment as a security in Texas. The State Securities Board regulates the registration of the mining investment as a security in Texas, the registration of dealers and agents offering and selling the product, and the disclosure of material facts to investors.
“In addition to violating registration requirements, USI-Tech and the sales agents are violating State Securities Board rules by failing to disclose information investors would need to make an informed decision about whether to invest,” the Securities Board said in a statement.
The Nova Scotia Securities Commission also issued an alert indicating USI-Tech is not registered to sell securities in the Canadian province. The Canadian regulator said it is illegal to solicit investments in Nova Scotia without registering with the provincial Securities Commission and complying with Nova Scotia securities laws.
“This is our second investor alert this week,” said Heidi Schedler, senior enforcement counsel with the commission. “When people are busy, stressed or distracted, it is easier for fraudsters to capitalize on our vulnerabilities. Stay vigilant. Always take the time to check registration.”