Maryland Joins International Effort to Crack Down on Crypto Related Fraud

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh stated on August 14 that the state’s securities market watchdog would become part of a worldwide initiative to deal with cryptocurrency-related fraud.

The state is the most recent to participate in “Operation Cryptosweep,” an effort headed by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). 35 authorizations have been taken and about 100 more are pending to date as part of the second stage of the operation.

Maryland’s top enforcer said the number of cryptocurrency-related crimes had increased later months. Accordingly, the Maryland Securities Division has taken enforcement action against a crypto promotion trick guaranteeing 150 percent returns on investments.

Last week, Texas authorities revealed they had taken four emergency actions against crypto companies since June.

Both governments attribute the surge in pernicious initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-related investment products to the rising cost of bitcoin and the publicity that followed after Facebook’s move to introduce a cryptocurrency dubbed Libra.

“Cryptocurrency investments are risky. Investors should be extra cautious when dealing with promoters who claim their offering does not have to be registered with securities regulators,” according to Frosh.

He further stated “returns of 150 percent are as rare as Bigfoot,” a reference to the platform Maryland is moving to sanction. The division has also established a helpline and educational video service that breaks down key crypto concepts for customers.