July 23rd, 2018
Judge Forces Alleged ICO Fraudster to Fork over $3.7 Million in Bitcoin
Dominic Lacroix, the subject of ICO fraud charges, transferred $3.7 million worth of bitcoins to a court-appointed administrator right in a Quebec City courtroom on July 6 as ordered by a judge, according to ICI Quebec.
Canada’s Financial Markets Authority and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claimed Lacroix was responsible for a fundraising scheme to bilk $15 million from investors.
Regulators Freeze Assets
The U.S. and Canadian regulators were granted court approval to freeze the assets of Lacroix and Sabrina Paradis-Royer, his wife.
Judge Raymond W. Pronovost on Thursday ordered Lacroix to give his bitcoins to the administrator and to come to the courtroom Friday to confirm the transaction. The attorney for the court-appointed temporary administrator for the couple’s assets, Hugo Babos-Marchand, had said the bitcoins could be transferred easily.
Lacroix told the judge the transfer was complicated by the seizure of his computers.
Officials then brought a computer into the courtroom to allow Lacroix to make the transfer of 420 bitcoins, which he performed. The judge told Lacroix he faced jail if he did not transfer the bitcoins.
The SEC secured a court order against Lacroix in June to freeze his assets after an investigation halted the PlexCoin ICO last December. Lacroix is the creator of PlexCoin.
Additional Asset Freeze Ordered
On June 20, the SEC requested an additional freeze of assets after Lacroix used secret accounts to exchange cryptocurrency that he received from ICO investors.
Lacroix in 2013 pleaded guilty to sending false information, resulting in a $25,000 CAD fine.
In October 2017, the Quebec Superior Court held him in contempt of court for flouting a previous ruling forbidding him from soliciting investors or initiating an ICO in the jurisdiction.
The SEC in December 2017 charged Lacroix with violating anti-fraud regulations in the PlexCoin ICO after he promised 1,354% profits in less than one month in his marketing materials. He and his wife were also charged with ignoring SEC registration rules for security offerings.