The Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States has announced that ICORating an ICO ratings provider firm has agreed to pay a settlement charge of $268,998.
In an investigation carried out by SEC’s Ashley Ebersole and Louis Gicale supervised by Melissa Robertson, the rating organization was found to have received payments for giving ratings to cryptocurrency projects. A violation of the securities law.
The Russian organization had decided to pay the sum because it failed to disclose payments received from issuers for publicizing their digital asset securities offerings.
According to SEC, between the period of December, 2017 and July 2019 the organization produced research reports and ratings of “blokchain-based digital assets” coins/tokens that were securities. These research were published on the organization’s website and social media.
Based on securities law, promoters are expected to disclose compensation received for publishing investments so that potential investors will be know what they are seeing is a well paid promoted offering.
According to SEC, ICO Rating violated the anti-touting provisions of Section 17(b) of the Securities Act of 1933. The organization has agreed to cease and desist from committing or causing any future violations of these provisions though it did not admit or denied the SEC findings.
The settlement of $268,998 is made up of prejudgment interest of $106,998 and civil penalty of $162,000
According to its website, ICO Rating addresses itself as “a rating agency that issues independent analytical research” with the mission “to help the market achieve the necessary standards of quality, transparency and reliability”