US SEC Accumulates $1.26 Billion From Unregistered ICOs

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The Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has collected more than $4.68 billion in illegal income and fines this year so far — with more than one quarter coming from Telegram’s ill-fated Gram’s token sale alone.

In total around $1.26 billion was handed over to the SEC by unregistered initial coin offerings (ICOs).

SEC Division of Enforcement Director Stephanie Avakian stated: “The Commission obtained judgments and orders totaling approximately $4.68 billion in disgorgement and penalties – the highest amount on record.”

The division’s annual report for the 2020 fiscal year, published earlier this month, provides a comprehensive overview of the agency’s actions including eight ICO enforcements. By far the bulk of the ICO money collected came from Telegram.

In October 2019, the SEC filed an emergency lawsuit against Telegram for its ICO of Gram tokens. Telegram agreed to return $1.2 billion to investors and pay an $18.5 million fine, in one of the largest cases for the entire year. Telegram’s payment made up 26% of the entire amount collected by the SEC.

In 2019 the SEC also filed a complaint against Kik for its unregistered securities sale. The firm will pay $5 million to the SEC.