U.S. SEC sues crypto firm Beaxy Digital, execs for failing to register

FILE PHOTO: The seal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seen at their headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged cryptocurrency trading platform Beaxy.com and several executives and related entities for failures to register, the agency said on Wednesday, the latest in a wave of enforcement activity targeting the crypto industry.

Given the variety of roles Beaxy played in the marketplace, the company violated U.S. law by failing to register with the regulator as an exchange, a clearing agency and a broker, the SEC said in a statement about the lawsuit.

Founder Artak Hamazaspyan and a company he controlled, Beaxy Digital Ltd, raised $8 million in an unregistered offering of the Beaxy token (BXY), and Hamazaspyan also misappropriated at least $900,000 for personal use, the SEC said.

The regulator also said executives Nicholas Murphy and Randolph Bay Abbott facilitated trading on the Beaxy platform since October 2019 through the company they managed, Windy Inc, the regulator said in a statement.

Another executive, Brian Peterson, and his companies provided market making services for the Beaxy platform, acting as unregistered dealers, the SEC said.

Hamazaspyan, who did not respond immediately to a request for comment on LinkedIn, will be fighting the SEC's charges of securities fraud and operating an unregistered offering in court, the agency said.

The other executives and firms, who did not admit or deny the SEC's findings, could not be reached immediately for comment.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Chris Prentice; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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