According to reports, the US Securities and Trading Commission (SEC) has recently suspended the trading of shares for a public company. SEC has issued a trade suspension orders for a regulatory registered firm that once claimed of issuing an initial coin offering (ICO). The reports were released on October 22, when the SEC confirmed of having suspended American Retail Group trading over its alleged claims of joining hands with an SEC-qualified custodian for supporting crypto transactions. The alleged company further claimed of being officially registered under SEC requirements for offering a token.
The company’s claim has put it under tight scrutiny. The SEC said in a statement that none of the claims are true to their nature. Robert Cohen, Enforcement Division Cyber Unit’s chief, said “the SEC does not endorse or qualify custodians for cryptocurrency.”
Cohen has asked investors to be vigilant especially when considering an investment in an ICO, which is different from publicly traded blockchain stocks. The commission has for the second time taken a stern action over the company’s claim in October 2018. The SEC obtained emergency court notice against the firm BlockVest and its owner Reginald Buddy Ringgold for misleading investors with a fabricated SEC seal on their ICO offerings, according to a report issued on October 11. Cohen, at the time, stated that SEC has never endorsed any investment products.
The SEC is authorized to suspend trading in a stock for no more than 10 days, according to the federal securities laws. The commission generally issues a statutory warning to the investors to withhold investing in certain stocks until essential requirements are met.
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has allegedly issued an Investor Bulletin as well as a mock ICO website to better educate investors on investing in ICOs. The regulator has made available the information on the websites Investor.gov and SEC.gov/ICO.
American Retail Group (OTC:ARGB) which is also known as Simex, Inc, announced in August 2018 the public offering of the company’s convertible preferred shares in the amount of 10 million shares. According to the announcement, the company intended to use the funds to increase the liquidity of the digital and cryptocurrency assets trade platform which it said to be creating the technology of trading in single account mode and marketing.
Additionally, it claimed it was working with Prime Trust. The token by SMX was described to have the capability of allowing customers to lower the commission, especially when trading on the SIMEX Exchange. The alleged public offering by the company was expected to stay until 1 March 2019 or complete sell-off of the shares. However, SMX has not yet commented on the suspension or confirmed of its misleading claims for the sale of crypto assets in the public.