SEC charges recidivist with new alleged fraud

By James Langton | January 4, 2023 | Last updated on January 4, 2023
2 min read
A closeup of the lock of a brick jail cell with iron bars and a key in the locking mechanism with the door open
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A convicted fraudsman, along with several associates and their companies, have been charged in connection with a new scheme that allegedly took more than US$45 million from investors worldwide with false promises of spectacular returns.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges today against Neil Chandran — who previously pled guilty to securities fraud in a separate case, and has been sanctioned by both the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in the past for unregistered trading — for allegedly orchestrating a new scheme that raised money from investors, falsely promising astronomical returns.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Chandran and four others “falsely claimed that investors could generate extravagant returns by investing in a blockchain technology called CoinDeal that would be sold for trillions of dollars to a group of prominent and wealthy buyers.”

In fact, the SEC alleged that investors didn’t receive any distributions, while the defendants “collectively misappropriated millions of dollars of investor funds for personal use.”

In June 2022, Chandran was indicted for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the CoinDeal scheme. He is currently in prison in Nebraska awaiting trial.

The allegations have not been proven.

“We allege the defendants falsely claimed access to valuable blockchain technology and that the imminent sale of the technology would generate investment returns of more than 500,000 times for investors,” said Daniel Gregus, director of the SEC’s Chicago office, in a release. “As alleged in our complaint, in reality this was all just an elaborate scheme where the defendants enriched themselves while defrauding tens of thousands of retail investors.”

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.