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May 2023 Monthly Recap

SEC Shuts Down WeedGenics $60 Million Cannabis Offering Fraud

The SEC has obtained an emergency order to halt an alleged fraud and Ponzi-like scheme by WeedGenics and its owners, Rolf Max Hirschmann and Patrick Earl Williams. They raised $60 million from investors for cannabis operations but misused the funds for personal enrichment. The SEC seeks permanent injunctions, disgorgement, and civil penalties. A hearing is scheduled for June 2, 2023. Read more here.

CFPB Action to Require Citizens Bank to Pay $9 Million Penalty for Unlawful Credit Card Servicing

Citizens Bank has agreed to a settlement with the CFPB after being accused of violating consumer financial protection laws in handling credit card disputes. As part of the settlement, the bank will pay a $9 million penalty and implement improvements to its credit card practices. The CFPB emphasizes the significance of safeguarding credit cardholders’ rights throughout this process. Read the full story here.

Meta fined record $1.3 billion and ordered to stop sending European user data to US

The European Union fined Meta (formerly Facebook) a record $1.3 billion and ordered it to stop transferring user data to the United States by October. This comes after a decade-long case fueled by U.S. cybersnooping concerns. Meta plans to appeal, citing potential disruptions to data transfers. The EU’s strict data privacy regulations clash with the U.S. approach, creating ongoing tensions. Read more here.

Attorney General James Proposes Nation-Leading Regulations on Cryptocurrency Industry

New York Attorney General Letitia James introduced landmark legislation to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, aiming to protect investors, consumers, and the economy. The proposed bill includes comprehensive regulations, such as independent audits of exchanges, preventing conflicts of interest, and requiring reimbursement for fraud victims. The legislation also strengthens the regulatory authority of the New York State Department of Financial Services. Learn more here.

Ex-OpenSea Exec Convicted of Wire Fraud, Money Laundering in Insider Trading Case

Former OpenSea product head Nate Chastain was convicted of money laundering and wire fraud in a federal court in New York. Chastain abused his position to profit from NFTs by buying them cheap and selling at inflated prices. He concealed his actions using anonymous wallets and OpenSea accounts. Chastain faces up to 40 years in prison. Read more here.

Federal Court Orders South African CEO to Pay Over $3.4 Billion for Forex Fraud

Cornelius Johannes Steynberg of South Africa has been ordered by a US court to pay a record-breaking $1.7 billion in restitution and $1.7 billion in civil monetary penalty for his involvement in the largest Bitcoin fraud scheme charged by the CFTC. The judgment prohibits Steynberg from further misconduct and trading in CFTC-regulated markets. He is currently detained in Brazil as a fugitive from South African authorities. Read more here.

Federal Reserve Board announces the results from the review of the supervision and regulation of Silicon Valley Bank, led by Vice Chair for Supervision Barr

The Federal Reserve Board reviewed Silicon Valley Bank’s supervision and regulation, highlighting key failures in risk management and supervision. The report emphasizes the need for stronger oversight and regulatory practices. It includes confidential supervisory information and outlines challenges faced by supervisors in identifying and addressing the bank’s vulnerabilities. Read more here.




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