On Wednesday, U.S. law enforcement officials announced charges against an alleged fraudulent intergovernmental organization for falsely promising investors guaranteed returns and an ownership interest in a "digital coin offering." Asa Saint Clair was charged with one count of wire fraud related to an alleged scheme to use World Sports Alliance, a fraudulent affiliate of the United Nations, to defraud lenders and investors in IGOBIT, a digital currency Saint Clair claimed World Sports Alliance was developing. Another press release from U.S. law enforcement officials, issued last week, announced the guilty plea of defendants in an extortion conspiracy where the defendants demanded payment in bitcoin.

Last week, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that a federal court had entered a default order against two individuals and four corporate entities, ordering them to pay $4.25 million for fraud and misappropriation. The order resolves a CFTC enforcement case filed on April 16, 2018, charging the defendants with fraud relating to a binary options scam based on a virtual currency known as ATM Coin.

In a filing with the New York Eastern District Court dated Oct. 31, the SEC said it reached a settlement with Reggie Middleton; Veritaseum Inc.; and Veritaseum LLC related to a $14.8 million initial coin offering (ICO). The case began in 2017 when Middleton was accused of allegedly raising millions through an ICO without registering with the SEC while also deluding investors with false information to raise more funds. Middleton agreed to pay approximately $9.5 million to settle the case without admitting or denying the allegations. In a separate SEC action last week, the SEC charged a Switzerland-based securities dealer "for offering and selling unregistered security-based swaps to U.S. investors using bitcoins and for failing to transact its swaps on a registered national exchange."

In Canada, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has appointed a receiver to take control over Einstein Exchange, a cryptocurrency exchange, related to reports of customers being unable to access their funds. Finally, a report from Hong Kong indicates that North Korea has been using a Hong Kong-based blockchain company to launder money, prompting an investigation by the UN Security Council's Sanctions Committee on North Korea. The committee reportedly said that North Korea used the "front" company to exchange stolen cryptocurrency for cash after "layering" it through at least 5,000 separate transactions through several countries to make tracking difficult.

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