The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Richard “Heart” Schueler and crypto projects HEX, PULSECHAIN, and PULSEX. According to a document filed with a court for the Eastern District of New York and shared on X by economist Alex Krüeger, the regulator is violating U.S. securities laws.
As of this writing, HEX is feeling the heat from the lawsuit. The token plummeted over 11% in today’s trade session alone as a direct impact of this development. It continues a downside trend that worsened over the past two weeks when the cryptocurrency saw a 23% loss.
SEC Fails With XRP But Goes After HEX
Per the document, the regulator claims that Richard Heart raised over $1 billion by allegedly offering unregistered security, the token HEX. The crypto founder supposedly offered the token in December 2019 and for the following three years to “retail investors in the U.S. and abroad.”
The SEC claims that Heart operates via PulseChain and PulseX, part of the scheme that allegedly allows him to raise $1 billion from investors. Via these platforms, the regulator argues, Heart made “grandiose” promises of wealth to his investors.
Furthermore, the Commission claims that while Heart publicly spoke about supporting free speech, he supposedly purchased “luxury goods” by taking money from his investors. In that sense, the SEC claims that the crypto investor misappropriated his investors’ assets and allegedly defrauded investors.
The regulator placed a special focus on HEX’s staking mechanism, its “locked up” periods, and how Heart allegedly manipulated the token’s supply by “recycling transactions.” The document stated:
Consensus In The Crypto Community
Between December 2019 and November 2020, Heart, via the Hex public wallet address, accepted more than 2.3 million ether (“ETH”), putatively from investors, worth more than $678 million at the time of deposits (…). It appears that 94-97% of these ETH deposits, however, were “recycling” transactions directed by Heart or other insiders, which enabled Heart or other insiders to gain control of a large number of Hex tokens (…).
The U.S. SEC is coming out of a major loss after a court ruled out against their claims in the case versus payment company Ripple and its executives. The regulator stated that the company offered unregistered securities.
However, unlike the Ripple and XRP case, the crypto community is taking the SEC’s side and believes the regulator is on the right track. Heart has been a controversial figure for years in the nascent industry.
Bloomberg Intelligence’s James Seyffart stated the following regarding the case:
I may have been cheering for ripple to win their case despite not really liking the project (and honestly thinking it had many security-like traits). But I will be 100% pro SEC in this case. This is the type of project the SEC should have gone after years ago.
It remains to be seen if the regulator will score another negative result, but many in the crypto community are siding with the SEC.
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview