January 3 2018
In the past two years, public interest surrounding cyber-enabled financial crimes has steadily increased. The public curiosity surrounding these alluring, intricate schemes runs parallel to federal authorities’ heightened interest. The SEC’s formation of a unit dedicated entirely to fighting cyber-enabled financial crimes illustrates the agency’s intent to pursue this new breed of financial fraud. Because the SEC has dedicated additional resources, personnel, and funding to this initiative, we believe that the SEC is expecting a fruitful return on its investment. In fact, on December 4, 2017, the SEC announced the Cyber Unit’s first filing of charges against Dominic Lacroix, an alleged recidivist Quebec securities law violator who operated a fast-moving initial coin offering fraud scheme that generated at least $15 million in sales of securities over the internet since August 2017. This type of action is a sign of what is to come as federal authorities continue to focus their resources on cyber-enabled financial crime.