North Dakota Slaps Russian ICO Passing Off as Union Bank AG with Cease and Desist



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The securities commissioner of North Dakota has issued Russia’s Union Bank Payment Coin with a Cease and Desist Order.

According to Karen Tyler, North Dakota’s securities commissioner, Union Bank Payment Coin promoted unregistered securities that were potentially fraudulent via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). This came on the back of investigations done by North Dakota Securities Department’s ICO Task Force which is tasked with the responsibility of identifying ICOs and other crypto-related investments that pose a risk to investors in the Peace Garden State.

Per the North Dakotan securities commissioner, the Union Bank Payment Coin is attempting to pass off as an initiative of Liechtenstein’s Union Bank AG which earlier this year announced plans to issue its own security tokens and a stablecoin pegged to the Swiss Franc.

Not the Real Deal

However, the two entities are vastly different as Union Bank AG is regulated and fully licensed by Liechtenstein’s financial regulator, the Financial Market Authority (FMA). Union Bank Payment Coin, on the other hand, appears to be a Russian entity as the internet protocol address of its website is based in Russia. Its website is also registered to an individual based in the same country.

On its website, Union Bank AG has warned of the possibility of investors being ripped off by opportunists saying that no wallet addresses exist either publicly or privately to which cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies can be sent to. Additionally, the bank warns that it hasn’t set up websites for registration purposes or for contributions and that interested investors must deal directly with the bank:

“Fraudulent websites warning: Please be aware of potential scammers. The only way to participate in Union Bank AG’s coin offerings is via a direct contact with the bank.”

Apparently, the scammer had set up a website, www.unionbankag-invest.com, which had the feel and appearance of being the legitimate bank’s website in order to recruit investors. The legitimate website of Union Bank AG is www.unionbankag.com.

Busy Quarter

This is the second time in a little over a month that the North Dakota Securities Department has issued a Cease and Desist Order against ICO promoters. Mid last month as CCN reported, Advertiza Holdings, Crystal Token and Life Cross Coin were prohibited from selling unregistered securities to North Dakotans.

https://twitter.com/LawyerCostaRica/status/1051819871758094336

According to the securities department, the three ICOs were targeted for among other things promising unrealistic returns to investors. Crystal Token was, for instance, promising investors a daily return on investment of 2% while failing to offer adequate information regarding the identities of its directors and/or senior executives.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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