The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken its first-ever enforcement action against a hedge fund manager violating an investment company registration based on its investments in digital assets.
On Tuesday, the U.S. financial watchdog issued a cease-and-desist order and $200,000 fine to Crypto Asset Management and its founder, Timothy Enneking.
The firm, located in La Jolla, California, focuses primarily on managing investment portfolios of cryptocurrency and related assets. The Commission elaborated:
The SEC entered an order finding that Crypto Asset Management LP (CAM) offered a fund that operated as an unregistered investment company while falsely marketing it as the ‘first regulated crypto asset fund in the United States’.
Crypto Asset Management LP (CAM) allegedly raised more than $3 million in late 2017 and claimed that the company was “the first regulated crypto asset fund in the United States.” Enneking didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the SEC statement, Enneking and the company agreed to the SEC’s cease-and-desist order and will pay a penalty of $200,000, without admitting or denying the agency’s findings.
This case may become a precedent as the first court decision to address the issue and a legal victory of the authorities in their effort to regulate multi-billion dollar industry of initial coin offerings.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Ranah L. Esmaili and supervised by Adam S. Aderton of the Asset Management Unit.