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by Mike Caswell
Stephen Braverman, a California man charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a $45-million cryptocurrency pump-and-dump run from Ontario, has asked that the judge dismiss the charges. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) He says that there is no evidence to show he had a part in any fraud or that he even knew one was being committed. In particular, the SEC has not shown that he participated in a supposed $10-billion gold transaction associated with the scheme.
The request from Mr. Braverman comes as part of a case in which the SEC charged him for a cryptocurrency scheme run by Troy Hogg, a resident of Grand Bend, Ont. According to the SEC, the men issued tokens called Dignity, or DIG, which were supposedly backed by $10-billion in gold bullion. As the men issued news about the gold, they unloaded $45-million worth of tokens on investors, the SEC says.
With the case yet to make it to trial, Mr. Braverman has filed a motion to dismiss the charges. His motion, filed on Jan. 13, 2023, states that the SEC has failed to show that he had any part in the scheme. Much of the case centres around five misleading news releases that the SEC claims the men issued, but Mr. Braverman says that his links to those news releases are minimal. He is only accused of reviewing one of the news releases, with the SEC not saying anything about which news release he reviewed or setting out any omission that resulted from his review.
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