Stanley Ford one of the men accused of raising funds without proper registration
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained a court order to freeze the assets of Arisebank, a Texas-based institution claiming to be the world’s first “decentralised bank”.
The assets reportedly include Bitcoin, dogecoin and litecoin, and a receiver has been appointed to return cash to investors.
The order, which halts AriseBank from raising any additional funds, accuses founders Jared Rice and Dubai-based Stanley Ford of raising capital from individual investors from November of 2017 without registering with regulators, despite their public claims to the contrary.
AriseBank, the SEC claims, falsely stated that it purchased an FDIC-insured bank and could therefore offer FDIC-insured accounts to customers. AriseBank also allegedly omitted to disclose the criminal background of Rice, who is on probation for felony theft and tampering with government records.
The asset freeze is the biggest action yet for the agency. “We will use all of our tools and remedies to protect investors from those who engage in fraudulent conduct in the emerging digital securities marketplace,” Steve Peikin, co-head of SEC enforcement, said in a statement.
Back on January 5, The Texas Department of Banking issued a statement warning citizens that AriseBank “is not associated with any known financial institution chartered by a state or federal regulatory agency. No entity by that name has been authorized to do business in Texas…. Consumers should consider any communication or solicitation involving AriseBank to be an attempt to obtain funds by an unauthorized and unregulated entity.”
Arabian Business attempted to contact Stanley Ford via the oil and gas company listed as his current employer on his LinkedIn profile. Although the same profile includes eight months as COO of Dallas-based company Dynastack, where co-accused Jared Rice was CEO, the person we spoke to denied he was the same person.