Ian Balina, an influential crypto investor and founder of Token Metrics, is facing legal action from the SEC. The regulatory watchdog alleges that the renowned crypto media personality engaged in the offering and promotion of “unregistered securities.”
Lawsuit alleges Ian Balina promoted unregistered security
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the complaint in a United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on Monday. According to the complaint, the SEC accuses Balina of offering and promoting SPRK tokens that it classifies as securities in 2018 without prior registration.
SPRK is the native token of the Sparkster blockchain cloud network. The crypto entity raised $30 million in its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018. Several investors jumped on the SPRK bandwagon following Ian Balina’s aggressive promotion of the asset. Nonetheless, the token crashed over 90%, leading to millions in losses.
Balina was the target of heat from hurt investors after the crash. This is given its influence in space then. Four years later, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Balina. The watchdog alleged that Balina did not disclose the compensation he received for promoting the asset.
SEC Demands Crypto Influencer Return All Earnings Obtained From SPRK
The SEC mentioned that Balina’s acts of promoting SPRK violated several provisions of the Securities Act of 1933. According to the SEC, Balina will persist in his acts of violation unless a court legally restrains him. The SEC further alleged that Balina received $5 million to promote the token.
Among several demands, the SEC is asking Balina to relinquish all “ill-gotten gains” from SPRK’s promotional acts. Additionally, the SEC requires the court to restrain Balina from engaging in the offer or sale of any security, including crypto assets.
Balina, who used his massive influence to promote the SPRK token in 2018, noted that he too was cheated when the token crashed. As investors filed a lawsuit against Sparkster in 2019, Ian Balina publicly said he would join the lawsuit.
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