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Daily fraud update: 13th December

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Ugandan man arrested over fraud claims

A crypto startup leader in Uganda has been taken into custody over claims that he operated a crypto Ponzi scheme.

Samson Lwanga, who previously ran a firm called Dunamiscoins Resources Limited which closed down recently, was arrested over accusations that he scammed around $2.7m from victims.

It is understood that police are now on the lookout for others who may have been in a similar role to him at the company, such as other directors.

The firm only operated for one month – suggesting that the scam had to take place in a fast-paced timeframe.

Police confirmed that Lwanga has now promised to pay back the cash and reimburse those he allegedly scammed – but claims he cannot just yet, as his bank accounts have since been frozen due to the investigation.

Initial figures released suggested that there were 1,000 investors who had been scammed out of money through the alleged fraud.

However, this figure is now believed to be much higher at around 10,000.

In a statement, police said that Lwanga was in custody in Old Kampala.

“We have already opened a general inquiry file and investigations are going on”, the statement read.

“We recorded statements from the complainants and arrested one of the directors called Samson Lwanga, who is currently detained at Old Kampala Police Station”, it added.

SEC chair says “proactive” approach is the right one

The chair of a major US regulator has described his organisation’s approach to crypto as “proactive”.

Jay Clayton, who heads up the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said that the organisation had done some good works when it came to blockchain.

He made his remarks while speaking to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

He said that the SEC was spending “a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets” in an attempt to achieve balance.

He also argued that the organisation had gone for a two-pronged approach which was both pro-innovation but also protective for those involved in the markets.

“Overall, I believe we have taken a measured, yet proactive regulatory approach that both fosters innovation and capital formation while protecting our investors and our markets”, he said.

The SEC has been active in the crypto markets for a while.

For example, it recently told messaging service Telegram that it was not permitted to sell its “GRAM” token.

When Kik, a similar messaging service, tried to launch an initial coin offering (ICO), it too was sued for $100m.

However, it suffers from a common problem for crypto regulators – namely questions over how and why it categorises cryptocurrencies in the way it does.

For Clayton, though, regulation is still possible.

He said that the organisation tackles those “engaging in fraud” and ensures that those who violate “registration provisions” of federal securities laws will be targeted.