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SEC Files Charges Against Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao

In a significant development for the financial industry, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced charges against an investment advisor named John Thompson for fraudulently raising over $10 million from investors. The SEC alleges that Thompson created a fictitious hedge fund and misled investors about its performance, promising lucrative returns. However, instead of investing the funds as promised, Thompson misappropriated a substantial portion for personal expenses, including luxury vacations and cars.

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According to the SEC’s complaint, Thompson utilized false documents and made misleading statements to lure unsuspecting investors. He allegedly fabricated account statements, portraying consistent high returns, and provided investors with forged audit reports. Thompson’s fraudulent scheme came to light when investors grew suspicious and reported their concerns to the SEC, triggering an investigation.

The SEC is seeking a permanent injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, financial penalties, and a prohibition on Thompson from working in the securities industry. This case serves as a reminder for investors to exercise caution and conduct thorough due diligence before entrusting their funds to financial advisors. The SEC continues to prioritize investor protection and urges individuals to report any suspicious activities to help maintain the integrity of the financial markets.

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2023-101