New York AG Seeking Info From Crypto Whistleblowers

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Key Takeaways

  • The New York Attorney’s office has invited crypto investors who have been affected by recent events to file complaints.
  • The office highlighted recent account suspensions at various cryptocurrency companies as one reason to file a report.
  • Today’s notice acknowledged recent events, including Terra’s devaluation and Celsius’ decision to suspend withdrawals.

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The New York Attorney General’s office has invited crypto investors to report misconduct to the department.

NYAG Solicits Wronged Investors

New York is seeking complaints from crypto investors.

A new investor alert from the office of  New York Attorney General Letitia James is soliciting information from customers who have been denied access to their accounts and from those who have been otherwise “deceived about their cryptocurrency investments.” Customers can file complaints through the office’s anonymous whistleblower portal or investor protection bureau.

Today’s notice acknowledges that, to the detriment of investors, many cryptocurrency companies have “frozen customer withdrawals, announced mass layoffs, or filed for bankruptcy” during the crypto market’s recent downturn.

New York Attorney General Letitia James called the ongoing issues in the crypto market “concerning,” noting that investors have “lost their hard-earned money” despite promised gains.

The office’s press release specifically mentions the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin. It also notes that Anchor, Celsius, Voyager, and Stablegains have all suspended user withdrawals.

It did not explicitly mention other companies that have suspended withdrawals, such as CoinFLEX, Zipmex, and Vauld. However, the investor alert is all-encompassing and invites “any New Yorker who believes they are a victim” to contact to office.

New York has historically taken a strict policy on cryptocurrency. The New York Attorney General’s office previously took action against crypto companies such as Bitfinex and Coinseed. It has also unsuccessfully targeted Nexo and Celsius in the past.

Meanwhile, the New York Department of Financial Services maintains its exclusive “BitLicense.” Though current numbers are unclear, the license is highly selective: in 2020, just 25 companies had obtained the license and are permitted to operate.

In June, the New York State Senate signed a moratorium on crypto mining that restricted most mining in the state.

Though today’s announcement does not state that officials intend to take further action against crypto companies, whistleblowers’ information could be used toward that end.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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