USI-Tech securities fraud cease and desist issued in Ohio
As part of Operation Cryptosweep, Ohio has issued USI-Tech with a securities fraud cease and desist.
The May 18th notice identifies USI-Tech Limited as the sole respondent, through a PO Box address in Dubai.
The cease and desist appears to have been issued following a local investor complaint.
After being pitched on USI-Tech by “Mark Grobril” [sic] in April 2017, the unnamed Ohio investor (R.V.) deposited $22,000 into USI-Tech.
This would be USI-Tech’s infamous Bitcoin Package Ponzi scheme, officially launched in mid 2017.
Note that although misspelt, I believe the complaint refers to Mark Ghobril (right),one of USI-Tech’s top promoters.
When R.V. told (Ghobril) of his intention to withdraw bitcoins, (Ghobril) encouraged him not to withdraw.
When R.V. withdrew bitcoins, (Ghobril) became angry and refused to answer R.V.’s questions.
R.V. partially liquidated his investment in the USI-Tech Limited Bitcoin Package from October 2017 to December 2017.
In December 2017, R.V.’s back office … showed that he had 58.5 bitcoins within his USI-Tech Limited Bitcoin Package.
In January 2018, although he had not withdrawn any more bitcoins, R.V.’s backoffice on the website showed he had 0 bitcoins.
From on or about January 5, 2018 until late February 2018, R.V. received no communication from USI-Tech and was unable to withdraw any bitcoins from his account.
On social media, Ghobril is credited as one of USI-Tech’s “founding members”. How much money Ghobril personally stole from USI-Tech victims is unclear.
Prior to scamming people in USI-Tech, Ghobril was promoting the My Advertising Pays Ponzi scheme.
According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Securities Division, USI-Tech provide
no factual information, such as name, position education expereince, professional experience … concerning any of (USI-Tech’s) principals.
The company additionally failed to disclose
- the identity of the entities of persons who are parties to the bitcoin mining contracts, as well as information about the facilities used to mine bitcoins, the hardware used to mine bitcoins, the costs associated with USI-Tech’s mining of bitcoins and their success in mining bitcoins;
- information about the assets and liabilities of USI-Tech and any other information that indicates USI-Tech has the ability to provide investors with profits of up to 150% regardless of the value of bitcoin; and
- the risks associated with the USI-Tech Limited Bitcoin packages and mining bitcoins.
The Securities Division goes on to confirm USI-Tech’s Bitcoin Package offering are securities, as per Ohio Securities Law.
Through the Chicago-based law firm Hart David Carson, USI-Tech previously represented to investors its unregistered securities offering was legal across the US.
As with previously issued securities fraud cease and desists, USI-Tech has thirty days to respond to the notice and request a hearing.
Considering USI-Tech’s failure to answer previously issued cease and desists and that its owners and top promoters are in hiding, a challenge to the notice is unlikely.