Cryptocurrency exchange CoinEx has been sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who alleges the firm falsely represented itself as an exchange by failing to register as a securities and commodities broker-dealer in the state.
A 38-page petition filed by James in the New York Supreme Court on Feb. 22 alleged CoinEx “engaged in repeated and persistent fraudulent practices” and violated the state’s Martin Act — considered one of the most strict anti-fraud and securities regulation laws in the United States.
She also asserted CoinEx listed various tokens that qualified as “both commodities and securities,” naming Amp (AMP), LBRY Credits (LBC), Rally (RLY) and Terra (LUNA).
When crypto platforms disregard our laws, they put New Yorkers at risk.
We’re seeking to stop @coinexcom from operating in New York and will continue to protect people from the dangers of the cryptocurrency industry.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 22, 2023
In a Feb. 22 statement, James said that CoinEx is not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, “as is required under New York law” to sell the tokens.
The Attorney General’s Office created a CoinEx account with a New York-based computer and internet address and alleged it was able to trade on the platform.
“The days of crypto companies like CoinEx acting like the rules do not apply to them are over,” she added.
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The petition also states that CoinEx failed to comply with a Dec. 22 subpoena sent by the Attorney General’s Office in order to “provide testimony concerning the virtual asset trading activities of its platform.”
“CoinEx was compelled by subpoena to appear for an examination under oath on January 9, 2023, and failed to appear […] CoinEx’s non-appearance is prima facie proof that CoinEx has engaged in the [mentioned] fraudulent practices.”
In the petition, James is seeking a court order to stop CoinEx from marketing itself as an exchange and prevent it from operating in the state by ordering it to geoblock internet addresses and GPS location data originating from New York.
Cointelegraph contacted CoinEx for comment but did not receive an immediate response.