Court Reconsiders November 2018 Order and Issues Preliminary Injunction Against ICO

In October 2018, the SEC sought a preliminary injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (Court) to stop an allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO). The SEC complaint alleged that, to give legitimacy to the ICO, the defendants created a bogus self-regulatory agency modeled on the SEC; falsely claimed that the offering was approved by the SEC and exempt from registration; and engaged in other misleading conduct. The Court initially ruled that the SEC had not established entitlement to a preliminary injunction. In the latest chapter of this saga, however, the Court reversed course and issued a preliminary injunction against the defendants. This article analyzes the Court’s order granting the SEC’s motion for partial reconsideration. For coverage of prior rulings by the Court in this action, see “U.S. District Court Rules That Digital Tokens in Initial Coin Offerings May Not Constitute Securities” (Jan. 24, 2019); and “SEC Halts Allegedly Fraudulent ICO That Employed a Bogus Regulatory Agency and False Claims of SEC Approval” (Nov. 29, 2018).

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