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North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions Commissioner Lise Kruse, left, and Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler speak to a legislative committee at the state Capitol in Bismarck in July.

North Dakota securities regulators have taken action against three more cryptocurrency-related companies.

Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler issued cease-and-desist orders against Crystal Token, Advertiza Holdings (Pty) Ltd. and Life Cross Coin, three potentially fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings companies.

The orders are the result of investigations being conducted by the Department’s ICO Task Force and Operation Cryptosweep, an investigation and enforcement effort involving more than 40 U.S. and Canadian securities regulators.

An ICO is a financing method often used by start-up companies to raise capital by selling virtual coins to investors. For this reason, companies operating in this way must register with the state to sell securities.

Tyler’s office is alleging Crystal Token’s website contains fraudulent statements with claims of excessive unsubstantiated rates of return on investment. It purposely withholds identities of the management team, which the Securities Department indicated is another sign of potential fraud.

Advertiza Holdings is offering virtual currency called “Tizacoin” or “TIZA,” saying coin holders can expect to make a profit from the appreciation of the value of TIZA. The Securities Department said the ICO falsely claims it has made a filing with the SEC under federal Rule 506c of Regulation D.

Life Cross Coin operates a website from a Berlin IP address associated with ransomware, trojans and identity fraud, according to the Securities Department. The website claims “Life Cross Coin” or “LICO” will be used for the donation and support of charitable organizations but the people represented to be the executive team all appear to have fake names.

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or jessica.holdman@bismarcktribune.com

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