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Talk about walking in someone else's footsteps: the founder of an electric vehicles manufacturer is the subject of proceedings issued by the USA's Securities and Exchange Commission in respect of comments he made, especially on social media, about the company, its products and prospects. It's not Tesla: it's Nikola.

Don't blame us - we don't make stuff up, you know.

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Blotics Ltd., a UK publisher, has agreed a settlement with US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission arising from the publication of articles about initial coin offerings. The articles were "accessible in the United States." But there's more and the case raises more questions than it answers.

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The origins of the SPAC, an acronym that has taken on a life of its own with the actual name falling into disuse, are not recent. In fact, as a concept, it's 300 years old - originating in a time of corporate malfeasance, fraud and abuse of investors.

As a vehicle, then, it's perfectly suited to be recognised by regulators who think they are being progressive.

Oh, and it's a near magical route for the expatriation of funds generated by organised crime i.e. money laundering.

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From an SEC press notice, 13th July 2021 (slightly edited)

"The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced [proceedings] against special purpose acquisition corporation Stable Road Acquisition Company, its sponsor SRC-NI, its CEO Brian Kabot, the SPAC’s proposed merger target Momentus Inc., and Momentus’ founder and former CEO Mikhail Kokorich [alleging] misleading claims about Momentus’ technology and about national security risks associated with Kokorich. "

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Google Ads - which is not the same as AdSense - is getting new policies in the UK.

They apply if you are what Google defines as a financial services business.

Do you agree?

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One would have thought that Initial Coin Offerings had been a flash in the pan and already out of fashion. And that may, to a point, be so: their heyday was, of course, three or four years ago.

But the essential problem seems to be that things take a while to filter through so that, when stories reactivate interest, everything old becomes new again, to coin a phrase. So the news that a case relating to conduct in 2017 and 2018 may be the spark that reignites burning embers as some people remember the concept of the ICO and think "that might be a way to help my business that's struggling through the CoVid-19 Pandemic.

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The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the accounts of a foreign registered fund operated by two US residents.

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They call it "financial exploitation of seniors" and refer to "World Elder Abuse Awareness Day" but cut through the froth and the Securities and Exchange Commission, The North American Securities Administrators' Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have started something useful at a time when the elderly are increasingly vulnerable to both actual frauds and misunderstandings caused by rapidly-changing financial environment.

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Criminal charges have today been laid against Members Equity Bank Limited, also known as ME Bank, in the Australian Federal Court.

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Ross Andrew Hopkins of Killara, New South Wales, Australia, has been sentenced in the District Court of New South Wales to a maximum period of six years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years following his conviction on a guilty plea for using clients' funds for his own benefit.

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MoneyGram has agreed to pay to the US Treasury via the Office of Foreign Assets Control the sum of USD34,328.78 "to settle its potential civil liability for 359 apparent" breaches. So, the US government once more says "give us money and we won't sue you so you get named and shamed but no actual criminal record.

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Australia: the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has issued a public warning notice about the conduct of Postage Ink Pty Limited in relation to the unsolicited supply of labels and ink cartridges and other consumables for postage meters to business customers.

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This morning, I was sitting in a coffee shop drinking lovely local coffee looking out at Citi 's large Malaysian head office in KualaLumpur . Then I looked at the news.

Citi is to leave Malaysia but maintain its offices in Singapore.

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This article is going to make a lot of people very angry. Sadly, those that are going to be angry are those that have been found out; those that should be angry - the consumers who have been misled and the tax payers who have supported the rampant charge into FinTech support by regulators and, even, the banks who have had their business models and even management plans disrupted, in the true sense of the word, by the host of millennial-targeting banks that pretended they were not banks, supported in that subterfuge by regulators - are not going to be angry.

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