There has been an update with the PlexCoin initial coin offering (ICO) scam, with the United States Department of Justice announcing recently that a Cleveland grand jury delivered a five-count indictment charging three people connected with the scam with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
In particular, the indictment was delivered to Dominic Lacroix, age 38 and founder of PlexCoin, Yan Ouellet, age 36, and Sabrina Paradis-Royer, age 26 who are all based in Quebec in Canada, United States Attorney Justin Herdman announced on Friday.
According to the indictment delivered by the Cleveland grand jury, the three named defendants conspired to persuade investors into purchasing PlexCoin, which was offered through PlexCorps, from May 2017 to December 2017.
The cryptocurrency was offered to investors as an ICO, which the defendants intended to use as a way to trick unknowing investors and make themselves rich, according to the indictment. Through the ICO, investors purchased around $8 million worth of PlexCoin.
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Commenting on the indictment, U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in the statement on Friday: “While technologies and the means to make investments may change, one thing remains constant – securities fraud ruins lives and deprives victims of their hard-earned money and savings.
“Digital currencies are a new type of investment, and just like with traditional securities, you should take the time to research and know exactly what you’re getting into before making any type of investment.”
PlexCoin has been on regulator’s radars since 2017
As Finance Magnates reported, Lacroix was originally ordered not to go ahead with the launch of the ICO in July of 2017. Regardless, the ICO moved forward in August 2017 and Lacroix’s defiance earned him a contempt of court charge and a two-month jail sentence. Additionally, he and DL Innov (his company) were served with a $110,000 fine.
PlexCoin subsequently caught the eye of the United States SEC. In December of 2017, the Commission moved to seize Lacroix’s assets in another attempt “to halt a fast-moving Initial Coin Offering (ICO) fraud that raised up to $15 million from thousands of investors since August by falsely promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month.”