The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has taken legal action against Digital Licensing Inc., a Utah-based crypto company operating under the name “DEBT Box,” alleging a massive $50 million fraudulent crypto scheme. In response to the SEC’s investigation, the firm’s assets have been frozen through a temporary asset freeze, and a restraining order and other emergency relief measures have been obtained.
DEBT Box pretended to sell “node licenses” as unregistered securities since March 2021, claiming that these licenses would enable investors to mine crypto tokens and reap substantial profits through associated revenue-generating businesses. The company touted its decentralized eco-friendly blockchain along with more than ten mining projects and daily rewards through projects linked to real estate, commodities (including gold, natural gas, oil, and many others), agriculture, and technology.
However, the SEC has labeled these “node licenses” as a misleading scheme, designed to cover the company’s creation of the total token supply using blockchain code. The agency accuses DEBT Box and its principals, including Jason Anderson, Jacob Anderson, Schad Brannon, and Roydon Nelsonand, along with 13 other defendants, of lying to investors about nearly every aspect of their unregistered securities offering.
DEBT Box, which had a considerable following of 30,000 Twitter followers and a native token called DEBT, has experienced a sharp decline of 52% in the value of its token since the SEC’s intervention on August 3rd.
The SEC’s director of the Salt Lake Regional Office, Tracy Combs, highlighted that DEBT Box and its principals misled investors about their involvement in crypto asset mining and the potential returns from the investment. The defendants also allegedly fabricated the growth of revenue-generating businesses to inflate token values, adding another layer to the fraudulent scheme.
Previously, on June 8, 2023, the SEC froze Binance US division’s assets in Washington D.C. federal court. It aims to repatriate fiat and crypto held by customers. The non-U.S. international exchange remained unaffected.
Whereas later on June 13, 2023, Binance.US strongly opposed the SEC’s asset freeze motion and urged the court to deny it. The exchange argued that granting the motion would lead to the effective termination of its business. It also criticized the SEC’s approach as “draconian and unduly burdensome.”
In response to these serious allegations, the SEC seeks permanent injunctions, the return of ill-gotten gains, and civil penalties against DEBT Box and its operators. This enforcement action underscores the agency’s commitment to protecting investors and maintaining the integrity of the cryptocurrency market.