In the past two years, regulators and law enforcement agencies in the United States have filed more than 90 cases of fraud with cryptocurrency assets, as was reported in the Wall Street Journal.
Today it is difficult to establish the exact amount that investors lost, but the regulators (both at the federal and state levels) managed to return only $ 36 million. In fact, this is considered an insignificant figure, since the real losses are many times greater.
Most of the cases remained undisclosed. According to representatives of law enforcement and regulatory agencies, tracking of funds is difficult because of the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies.
US regulators and undisclosed cryptocurrency cases
An analysis conducted by the Wall Street Journal also found that authorities registered fewer frauds and thefts when prices reached a record high compared with the number of criminal cases that were filed when the market collapsed. For example, last month, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed five large theft lawsuits, and for the whole of 2017 - only four.
In addition, State regulators opened more than 70 cryptocurrency cases last year. Although none of the actions of the authorities led to the fact that investors returned their money.
Recall that among the best-known alleged frauds was the BitConnect project, which is under investigation by both the SEC and other government regulators. According to official information, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) accused BitConnect of violating certain sections of the Texas Securities Act, which prohibit the sale of securities without the permission of the state commissioner. The total market value of the BitConnect project at the time was equal to almost three million US dollars.
In addition to regulatory actions, lawsuits against alleged cryptocurrency fraud schemes also increased sharply last year.
As reported by the CCN news agency in September, the number of lawsuits about cryptocurrency increased three times in the first half of 2018 compared to the whole of 2017. And according to a report compiled by legal analyst Lex Machina company: "In the first two quarters of 2018, there was a significant increase in the number of open criminal cases involving securities related to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. Using the search function, by keyword, in Legal Analytics, Lex Machina found that the number of cases related to this new area increased from seven, in the fourth quarter of 2017, to 22, in the first quarter of 2018, and to 23 cases the second quarter of 2018".
Because of unsolved cryptocurrency cases in the United States, only $ 36 million was returned to investors, and it remains unclear whether other investors will be able to return the stolen money.
Editor: Pereyidenko Ihor