Daily fraud update: 12th December

Chris Lee

Another forex class action filed in London over rigging claims

A second class action lawsuit pertaining to allegation of foreign exchange rigging has been filed in the British city of London.

The new action, which was brought by American legal firm Hausfeld, is titled FX Claim UK – and targets a wide range of financial institutions.

These include a wide variety of big names such as Barclays, RBS and Citibank.

Also named are UBS, MUFG Bank and JPMorgan.

The accusations relate to a number of alleged foreign exchange spot trading cartels which supposedly operated over a six year period from 2007 to 2013.

The filing was placed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London this week.

None of the banks involved gave a comment right away, according to NASDAQ.

The latest move comes after another American law firm called Scott & Scott filed a suit.

That firm has worked alongside Hausfeld before, with the pair managing to gain $2.3bn from 15 American banks on behalf of plaintiffs there.

Banks have since been hit with fines from the European Commission, and American banks have also faced penalties.

The latest case led by Hausfeld has the backing of a former regulator.

Phil Evans, who is a former inquiry chair of the Competition and Markets Authority, said that any potential fines did not go far enough.

“The fines do not go to those affected by the cartels. Through this action, we want to hold the banks accountable for their actions and secure compensation for affected customers”, he said.

Those behind ICO firm hit with charges

The founders of an ICO which is accused of being fraudulent have been hit with charges of securities fraud.

Shopin, which managed to secure funding as high as $42m when it ran a token sale between 2017 and 2018, has now been investigated by the US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the SEC, the founder of the project – Eran Eyal – told investors that Shopin had paired up with established companies.

In reality, it hadn’t – and Eyal had also allegedly swiped as much as half a million dollars for his own expenses.

The Shopin token, which was called “SHOP”, now no longer trades.

When it did trade, it plummeted in value before being taken off the market.

In a statement, an SEC director claimed that “innocent investors” fell victim.

“As alleged in today’s action, the SEC seeks to hold Eyal and Shopin responsible for scamming innocent investors with false claims about relationships and contracts they had secured in support of a blockchain-based universal shopper profile”, said Marc P. Berger, who works at the SEC’s New York Regional Office.

“Retail investors considering an investment in a digital asset that meets the definition of a security must be afforded the same truthful disclosures as in any traditional securities offering”, Berger added.


Chris Lee

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