Regulator charges HempCoin owner with securities fraud

11 Sep, 2018
by Richard Allen
Regulator charges HempCoin owner with securities fraud

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has today charged Timothy Tilton Ayre with securities fraud and unlawful distribution of an unregistered cryptocurrency security called HempCoin. This is the first time FINRA has been involved in a cryptocurrency case, the press release states.

The complaint alleges that from January 2013 to October 2016, Ayre attempted to “lure public investment in his worthless public company, Rocky Mountain Ayre, Inc. (RMTN) by issuing and selling HempCoin,” which he advertised as “the first minable coin backed by marketable securities.”

Ayre also marketed the coin as “the world’s first currency to represent equity ownership” despite never actually being registered as a security, and Ayre didn’t apply for an exemption.

Additionally, FINRA claims that Ayre bought the rights to HempCoin in June 2015 and advertised it as a security backed by RTMN stock. Investors mined 81 million HempCoin securities and bought and sold the currency on two cryptocurrency exchanges.

“In addition, FINRA alleges that, from January 2013 through October 2016, Ayre defrauded investors in RMTN by making materially false statements and omissions regarding the nature of RMTN’s business, failing to disclose his creation and unlawful distribution of HempCoin, and making multiple false and misleading statements in RMTN’s financial statements,” the press release reads.

Ayre may choose to file a response and request a hearing before a disciplinary panel. If found guilty, he may be forced to pay a fine or be permanently barred from the securities industry. Additionally, he may have to reimburse the payments made by investors.

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