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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

SEC charges fintech investment adviser for misleading advertising

Securities Fintech Enforcement SEC Disclosures Cryptocurrency Cease and Desist


On August 21, the SEC announced charges against a New York-based fintech investment adviser for using hypothetical performance metrics in misleading advertisements, compliance failures that led to misleading disclosures, and failure to adopt policies concerning crypto asset trading by employees, among other things. These charges mark the first violation of the SEC’s amended marketing rule.

According to the order, the fintech investment adviser made misleading statements on its website by failing to include material information, and without having adopted and implemented required policies and procedures under the SEC’s marketing rule. The SEC also found that the company made conflicting disclosures regarding crypto assets custody and failed to adopt policies related to employee personal trading in crypto assets. 

The company consented to the order finding that it violated the Advisers Act and without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, entered into a cease-and-desist order, a censure, and agreed to pay $192,454 in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and an $850,000 civil penalty that will be distributed to affected clients.