The Commission announced an increase of 3% from the previous year, with a total of 784 enforcement cases. These cases span from high-profile individuals to major crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance.
In a statement, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler emphasized the agency’s effectiveness in protecting investors and holding wrongdoers accountable. The agency has taken measures against various issues, including crypto fraud, unregistered crypto offerings, and illegal crypto endorsements by celebrities, and it plans to continue its vigilant oversight.
He Reiterates His Previous Stance
Gensler reiterated the necessity for crypto companies to register and the fact that many cryptocurrencies are securities. He also pointed out that there are still many scammers in the sector.
Last year, the SEC filed charges against Terraform Labs and its founder Do Kwon, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, cryptocurrency lending provider Celsius, and many other individuals and organizations. The agency also frequently made headlines with its charges against exchanges like Bittrex, Binance, Beaxy, and Coinbase.
Celebrities in SEC’s Crosshairs
Active in the NFT space as well, the SEC accused a Los Angeles-based podcast studio and Stoner Cats 2 LLC of offering unregistered crypto asset securities. Celebrities did not escape the SEC’s notice; names like Kim Kardashian, Paul Pierce, Lindsay Lohan, and Jake Paul made settlements with the SEC for failing to disclose payments received for promoting certain cryptocurrencies.
The SEC distributed $930 million to investors harmed last year, totaling $4.949 billion in financial resolutions. This is the second-highest amount in the agency’s history. The agency also brought charges against major figures such as Wells Fargo, HSBC, Citadel Securities LLC, and the former CEO of McDonald’s.
Gensler concluded his remarks by stating that the SEC will continue to work to protect investors, prevent wrongdoing, and maintain fair markets.
Source: The Block