Texas Securities Commissioner Issues Cease and Desist Order to Crypto Investment Firm
The Securities Commissioner of the U.S. State of Texas has issued an Emergency Cease & Desist Order (C&D) against crypto investment firm My Crypto Mine and its principal Mark Steven Royer, published to the regulator’s website Nov. 27.
The C&D claims that “sufficient evidence has been found” to substantiate that Royer, “acting on behalf of a white-collar criminal [Bruce Bise] and disbarred attorney [Samuel Mendez], offered tokens that are now nearly worthless” via a crypto investment scheme dubbed “BitQyk.”
The document does not disclose details surrounding Bise’s status as a “white collar criminal,” but states that Mendez was disbarred as an attorney after “committing acts of dishonesty and moral turpitude by misappropriating funds.”
In May 2017, Royer is alleged to have joined Bise and Mendez in encouraging investors who “missed out” on Bitcoin to invest in the bitqy token, then priced at $0.02, but promised to rise to as high as $3.00 “in the indefinite future.” In truth, the token shed 99 percent of its value by Nov. 11, 2018. Investors who purchased the token at the time of Royer’s offering thus “lost almost the entirety of their principal investment.”
At present, Royer is principal of “purported” crypto trading and mining specialist My Crypto Mine. Without disclosing his previous affiliation with BitQyck, Bise and Mendez, Royer has instead claimed to investors that he has over thirty years’ experience in the IT sector and ten years of involvement in crypto, among other misleading material claims related to the My Crypto Mine itself.
My Crypto Mine, as per the C&D, is now “issuing a passive investment tied to cryptocurrency trading and mining that purports to provide guaranteed, lucrative returns.”
Neither the investments nor the dealers are registered with the Texan authorities; the respondents are further charged with disclosure failures — in regard to both business credentials and the concrete “purported” mining operations of the firm. The firm also has not warned investors against any of the risks associated with crypto investments, such as the potential impact of government regulatory action that might impact crypto valuations in future, and other factors.
The charges thus pertain to violation of securities laws by offering illegal, unregistered securities, engagement in fraud, and public deception. The respondents have been ordered to cease and desist from selling securities in Texas and to cease and desist from acting as dealers or agents.
Earlier this month, the Texas State Securities Board issued an emergency C&D to an Australia-based cloud mining company for selling unregistered securities to Texas residents, the latest in its string of C&Ds against crypto-related firms this year.