Washington D.C., Jan. 4, 2023 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Neil Chandran, Garry Davidson, Michael Glaspie, Amy Mossel, Linda Knott, AEO Publishing Inc, Banner Co-Op, Inc, and BannersGo, LLC for their involvement in a fraudulent investment scheme named CoinDeal that raised more than $45 million from sales of unregistered securities to tens of thousands of investors worldwide.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Chandran, Davidson, Glaspie, Knott, and Mossel falsely claimed that investors could generate extravagant returns by investing in a blockchain technology called CoinDeal that would be sold for trillions of dollars to a group of prominent and wealthy buyers. From at least January 2019 to 2022, Chandran, Davidson, Glaspie, Knott, and Mossel allegedly disseminated false and misleading statements to investors regarding the purported value of CoinDeal, the parties involved in the supposed sale of CoinDeal, and the use of investment proceeds. According to the complaint, no sale of CoinDeal ever occurred and no distributions were made to CoinDeal investors. The complaint further alleges that the defendants collectively misappropriated millions of dollars of investor funds for personal use, and that Chandran used investor funds to purchase items such as cars, real estate, and a boat.
“We allege the defendants falsely claimed access to valuable blockchain technology and that the imminent sale of the technology would generate investment returns of more than 500,000 times for investors,” said Daniel Gregus, Director of the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office. “As alleged in our complaint, in reality this was all just an elaborate scheme where the defendants enriched themselves while defrauding tens of thousands of retail investors.”
In June 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Chandran in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska on three counts of wire fraud and two counts of monetary transaction in unlawful proceeds for his involvement in CoinDeal.
The SEC’s complaint charges:
- Chandran, Davidson, Glaspie, Knott, Banner Co-Op, and BannersGo with violating the antifraud and registration provisions of the Securities Act and Exchange Act;
- Davidson, Glaspie, Knott, Banner Co-Op, and BannersGo with aiding and abetting certain of Chandran’s violations of the antifraud provisions of the Exchange Act; and
- Mossel and AEO Publishing with aiding and abetting Glaspie’s violations of the antifraud and registration provisions of the Securities Act and Exchange Act.
The SEC’s complaint seeks disgorgement plus pre-judgment interest, penalties, and permanent injunctions against all defendants; officer and director bars against Chandran, Davidson, Glaspie, Knott, and Mossel; and a conduct-based injunction against Chandran.
The SEC’s ongoing investigation is being conducted by Dante A. Roldán, Steven Tremaglio, Caryn Trombino, and Lynette Nichols-Newman, and supervised by Ana D. Petrovic and Paul A. Montoya, all of the Chicago Regional Office. The litigation will be led by Michael D. Foster, also of the Chicago Regional Office. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and Florida Office of Financial Regulation.
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has issued investor alerts on the red flags of investment fraud.