May 31, 2023 at 11:26 GMTModified date: May 31, 2023 at 11:26 GMT
May 31, 2023 at 11:26 GMT

‘Shooting fish in a barrel’: Stark warning to crypto influencers

Former SEC chief John Reed Stark has issued a warning to crypto influencers who promote scam coins and manipulate crypto prices via social media…

‘Shooting fish in a barrel’: Stark warning to crypto influencers

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is chasing crypto influencers who promote scam coins and manipulate prices through social media.

John Reed Stark, former SEC Office of Internet Enforcement chief, warned crypto influencers via Twitter that they could be prosecuted.

He said: “Attention all crypto promoters who use social media to manipulate the price of crypto-securities: Fail not at your peril. Not only will you eventually get caught, but your prosecution will also be like shooting fish in a barrel.

“Whether manipulating the price of exchange listed-securities, microcap-securities, penny stock-securities or crypto-securities, the same anti-fraud rules apply. So get smart crypto-shills, because your days are numbered.

“What amazes me most about crypto promoters in particular is the brazen and arrogant way so many of them grift their victims — always in plain view. Be it on Twitter, Discord, Instagram, Reddit, etc. — the fraud is always easy to find, easy to archive and easy to present to a judge or jury.

“That’s the thing about investigating securities fraud, the perpetrators want to be found; they need to surface to convince their victims to buy into their deception.

“In other words, for SEC enforcement lawyers and FBI agents, bringing crypto promoters to justice is not like trying to identify and apprehend stealth hackers who are attempting to tamper with the energy grid.

“In stark contrast, regulators and law enforcement need only turn on their computers to discover an extraordinary and resplendent evidentiary trail of compelling and vivid inculpatory evidence.

“Indeed, far from tying government’s hands, social media has become the virtual rope that many crypto bros (and sisters) use to hang themselves.”

Stark also mentioned Francis Sabo, who used social media to manipulate exchange-traded stocks and was charged in a $100million securities fraud case.

Other famous names who have ended up in hot water for promoting crypto include Kim Kardashian for EthereumMax, and YouTuber Bitboy Crypto for Hex (HEX), Pulsechain (PLS) and PulseX (PLSX).