3 companies will pay a total of $539 million to settle with the SEC over charges of illegal stock and digital-asset offerings

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3 companies will pay a total of $539 million to settle with the SEC over charges of illegal stock and digital-asset offerings
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The US Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Monday that three media companies would pay $539 million to settle charges by the regulator that they had engaged in illegal offerings of stock and digital assets.

GTV Media Group and Saraca Media Group - both based in New York City - and Phoenix, Arizona-based Voice of Guo Media were charged with conducting an unregistered offering of GTV common stock. Separately, GTV and Saraca, according to the SEC, engaged in an illegal offering of a digital asset called G-Coins.

The complaint alleges that the three companies solicited thousands of investors for the two offerings between April and June 2020, ultimately netting $487 million from 5,000 investors. The companies promoted and disseminated information on the securities through videos on their websites, as well as on social media sites including Twitter and Youtube.

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"Thousands of investors purchased GTV stock, G-Coins, and G-Dollars based on the respondents' solicitation of the general public with limited disclosures," said Richard R. Best, Director of the SEC's New York Regional Office. "The remedies ordered by the Commission today, which include a fair fund distribution, will provide meaningful relief to investors in these illegal offerings."

The settlement allows the companies to neither admit or deny any wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, the three firms have agreed to not participate in any digital securities offerings, and help the regulator with a distribution plan to return funds to affected investors.

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