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Arise Bank boxer endorsement website ICO scam

  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday it has shut down an alleged initial coin offering scam by AriseBank.
  • AriseBank which is not registered with any banking or securities regulators, appears to have fabricated agreements with banks that do not exist.

The United States’ top securities regulator has shut down an initial coin offering by AriseBank in Dallas, Texas.

AriseBank allegedly used celebrity endorsers — including boxer Evander Holyfield — and social media to swindle retail investors out of $600 million of the firm’s $1 billion goal for “AriseCoin,” the SEC said on Tuesday.

“We allege that AriseBank and its principals sought to raise hundreds of millions from investors by misrepresenting the company as a first-of-its-kind decentralized bank offering its own cryptocurrency to be used for a broad range of customer products and services,” the SEC’s co-chair of enforcement said in a press release. “This is the first time the Commission has sought the appointment of a receiver in connection with an ICO fraud.”

The halt and seizure of assets comes less than a week after the Texas Department of Banking sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company on January 26 and barred its cryptocurrency banking platform in the state.

According to the bank’s website, which was offline Tuesday morning, AriseBank is working on “the first ever decentralized banking platform,” and lists several transfer products with whimsical tech-infused names like aiExchanger, aTransfer, and aEx, and celebrity endorsements.

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AriseBank could not be reached for comment, but the firm published a blog post on Medium when discussions that it may be a scam first started appearing online in early January.

“AriseBank isn’t a scam,” the brief essay reads. “It’s a victim of libel and slander.” The post goes on to Read More Here