Two siblings have been charged with federal securities laws violations for their involvement in a $124 million crypto fraud operation, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.
John and Tina Barksdale are accused of defrauding thousands of retail investors who bought or invested in the Ormeus Coin cryptocurrency, the SEC said. The Justice Department also announced that John Barksdale has been arrested overseas and faces conspiracy and fraud charges for selling and promoting a cryptocurrency “through false representations.” A DOJ spokesperson declined to say where he was arrested.
The siblings used misleading marketing and outright lies in selling their cryptocurrency, the federal agencies said. Barksdale “operated like a traveling salesman and peddled lies, overstatements and misrepresentations” of the cryptocurrency, DOJ Special Agent Ricky J. Patel said in a statement.
He said Barksdale misled investors who were told that the crypto company was secured by a $250 million crypto mining operation “which would have been one of the largest such operations in the world.” The DOJ said Barksdale’s company even ran an ad on a jumbotron in Times Square in Manhattan making that claim.