July 5, 2022

Volume XII, Number 186

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Feds Giddy Up on FinTech: SEC Adds 20 Positions to Cryptocurrency Unit

The SEC announced on May 3, 2022 that 20 additional positions will be allocated to the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit within the Division of Enforcement. The announcement specifically identified crypto asset offerings, crypto asset exchanges, crypto asset lending and staking products, decentralized finance (“DeFi”) platforms, non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”), and stablecoins as among the markets under investigatory scrutiny by the expanded Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit for potential securities law violations. The increase in resources will nearly double the size of the unit (now at 50 dedicated positions), which until recently was known as the “Cyber Unit.” According to the SEC, the increase in personnel will occur at multiple levels, including “supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, trial counsels, and fraud analysts in the agency’s headquarters in Washington, DC, as well as several regional offices.”  

The SEC’s changes – both the increase in personnel and the renaming of the unit – are consistent with the SEC’s recently announced 2022 Examination Priorities, which includes crypto assets. The announcement also comes on the heels of the FBI forming a new unit dedicated to cryptocurrency-related investigations, the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit, and the DOJ creating a new team within the Criminal Division, the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. Cryptocurrency-related investigations continue to increase and announcements like the SEC’s will only increase those numbers.

Copyright ©2022 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 126
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About this Author

Matthew G. Lindenbaum Financial Litigation Attorney Nelson Mullins
Partner

Matthew represents companies in high-stakes litigation with an emphasis on class action defense in the automotive and financial services industries, including the emerging crypto-currency industry. He also defends companies and individuals in government investigations and enforcement actions involving the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and conducts internal investigations for companies and special board committees.

Matthew is the leader of Nelson Mullins’ Boston Litigation Team and has been...

617-217-4632
Robert L. Lindholm White Collar Defense Lawyer Nelson Mullins
Partner

Rob focuses his practice on government investigations and white collar defense, high stakes business litigation and class action defense, and e-discovery and litigation readiness. He represents financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, private equity firms, hedge funds, and companies/individuals involved in the cryptocurrency industry in a wide array of internal/government investigations and commercial litigation.

704.417.3231
Jack Foster Associate Attorney Litigation Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Associate

Jack focuses his practice in the area of litigation.

Experience

Following is a selected sampling of matters and is provided for informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future matter.

Previous professional experience

  • Summer associate, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough (2019)

  • Legal intern, United States Attorney’s Office in Boston (2018)

  • ...
617-217-4718
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