New York Attorney General 'Calling All Whistleblowers'

By kev_nag | kev_nag | 1 Aug 2022

New York Attorney General Letitia James today issued an investor alert urging any New Yorker deceived or affected by the cryptocurrency crash to contact her office […] ‘The recent turbulence and significant losses in the cryptocurrency market are concerning,’ said Attorney General James. ‘Investors were promised large returns on cryptocurrencies, but instead lost their hard-earned money. I urge any New Yorker who believes they were deceived by crypto platforms to contact my office, and I encourage workers in crypto companies who may have witnessed misconduct to file a whistleblower complaint.’

[James, L. INVESTOR ALERT: Attorney General James Urges New Yorkers Deceived by Crypto Platforms to Report Concerns to OAG. (Accessed August 1, 2022)].

"James says some high-profile cryptocurrency businesses have frozen customer withdrawals, announced mass layoffs, or filed for bankruptcy, while investors have been left in financial ruin. The total value of crypto assets hit a peak of $2.8 trillion last November. In June, it was reported to be below $1.3 trillion, according to CoinGecko. Surveys show that roughly 16% of adult Americans, or 40 million people, have invested in cryptocurrencies [Doda, B. New Yorkers ‘deceived or affected’ by crypto crash urged to contact AG’s office. (Accessed August 1, 2022)].

“As a whistleblower, an individual filing a complaint with authorities could be kept anonymous — the New York Attorney General’s website already includes the option to submit relevant documents and information through a Tor Browser” [Wright, T. New York AG calls for whistleblowers ‘deceived or affected’ by the crypto market crash. (Accessed August 1, 2022)].

In her Investor Alert/Press Release, Attorney General James notes:

Many high-profile cryptocurrency businesses have frozen customer withdrawals, announced mass layoffs, or filed for bankruptcy, while investors have been left in financial ruin. As part of the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) ongoing investigative work, OAG is interested in hearing from New York investors who have been locked out of their accounts, who are unable to access their investments, or who have been deceived about their cryptocurrency investments. New Yorkers who have been affected by this conduct are strongly encouraged to report these issues to OAG.

[James, supra].

“James’ call for whistleblowers comes as the crypto market sagged this summer. New Yorkers impacted by the Terra crash or by turmoil at Celsius, Voyager, and other firms to contact the office’s investor protection bureau” [Murray, S. New York AG seeks crypto whistleblowers and ‘deceived’ investors. (Accessed August 1, 2022)]. In this regard, specifically, she stated:

In the last few months, investors have lost hundreds of billions of dollars in cryptocurrency markets. New Yorkers who have been affected by the dramatic devaluations of the Terra and Luna virtual currencies and the account freezes on cryptocurrency staking or earning programs, such as Anchor, Celsius, Voyager, and Stablegains, are strongly encouraged to contact OAG’s Investor Protection Bureau. In addition, any New Yorker who believes they are a victim of fraudulent or deceptive conduct should also share their experiences with OAG.

[James, supra].

Finally, as per usual, Attorney General James ends her Investor Alert/Press Release with her signature ‘self pat on the back’, gloating: “Today’s investor alert continues Attorney General James’ efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry and protect New York investors” [Id]. She then lists her ‘accomplishments’ (?) she claims were achieved while in office as follows:

In June, Attorney General James warned New Yorkers of the dangerous risks of investing in cryptocurrencies after the market reached record lows. Also in June, Attorney General James reached a nearly $1 million settlement with crypto platform BlockFi Lending LLC for offering unregistered securities. Earlier this year, Attorney General James issued a taxpayer notice to virtual currency investors and their tax advisors to accurately declare and pay taxes on their virtual investments. In October 2021, Attorney General James directed unregistered crypto lending platforms to cease operations for not fulfilling their legal obligations. In March 2021, Attorney General James warned New Yorkers of the risks of cryptocurrency investments and reminded investment platforms of their legal obligations.


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