A Russian analytics firm, ICORating, has been fined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its failure to disclose payments received from issuers. SEC Charges ICORating for Failing to Disclose Paid Reviews.
A settlement of $268,998 with ICORating was announced by the SEC for projects rated from December 2017 to July 2018.
ICORating produced research reports and ratings of digital blockchain-based assets, including securities “tokens” or “coins”. Then published this content on its website and on social media.
The analytics firm failed to reveal, however, that some issuers whose ICO offers it rated were paying it.
Melissa Hodgman, Associate Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division said:
“The securities laws require promoters, including both people and entities, to disclose compensation they receive for touting investments so that potential investors are aware they are viewing a paid promotional item.”
“This requirement applies regardless of whether the securities being touted are issued using traditional certificates or on the blockchain.”
SEC Charges ICORating for Failing to Disclose Paid Reviews. ICORating agreed to cease and desist from committing any future violations of these provisions, paying disgorgement and prejudgment interest of $106,998, and a civil penalty of $162,000.
August seemed like a busy month for the US regulator, as it is very involved in taking action against the companies.