The Securities and Exchange Commission today suspended trading in the securities of a company amid questions surrounding its statements about partnering with a claimed SEC-qualified custodian for use with cryptocurrency transactions and a purportedly registered public offering of preferred stock.
The SEC’s trading suspension order says that two August 2018 press releases issued by Nevada-based American Retail Group, Inc. (OTC: ARGB) aka Simex claimed that the company had partnered with an SEC qualified custodian for use with cryptocurrency transactions that would be “under SEC Regulations,” and that the company was conducting a token offering that was “officially registered in accordance [with] SEC requirements.”
Earlier this month, the SEC issued an investor alert that warned investors to be vigilant for false claims about SEC endorsements used to promote digital asset investments. “The SEC does not endorse or qualify custodians for cryptocurrency, and investors should use vigilance when considering an investment in an initial coin offering,” said Robert Cohen, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit. The SEC was assisted by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).