How will the SEC’s new Cyber Unit effect ICO offerings in the USA?

SEC ICO

I am Ted. The original Ted. And this is the Official Ted Blog.

If you have seen some of the posts I make online about due diligence and my interest into crypto, you can be sure as I move deeper into the cryptocurrency world, that I am going in with my eyes wide open.

In the second from last quarter of 2017 alone, ICOs raised more than $1.3 billion for crypto  — around five times more than subsidizing brought through investment up in the blockchain space.

There were 200 ICO’s in 2017 and at least 1,100 ICO’s in play worldwide now. The majority will fail because most of these ICO’s are fraudulent ponzi schemes. Games are played. The insiders are trading back and forth. It looks just like a penny stock pump and dump operation.

One company that made the news lately is Bitconnect. So many people got in. Mostly greedy Americans that were looking for easy money. It seemed too good to be true from its inception in January of 2017, and it was.

There were so many red flags. Promises of returns were made. It was run anonymously and as I look at it today, it looks more like an investment instrument, and that brings up the SEC.

The SEC’s new Cyber Unit is focused on misconduct involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings, the spread of false information through electronic and social media, brokerage account takeovers, hacking to obtain nonpublic information, and threats to trading platforms. The SEC also has a Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group that focuses on various emerging applications of distributed ledger technology in the financial industry.

This tells me that ICO’s based in the USA are going to be scrutinized and quite possibly, the SEC might see all ICO’s as an investment opportunity that falls within their domain of oversight. That would create new regulations and qualifications wherein the ICO would have to register. This would scare the scammers but the legit ICO’s would then become regulated and the whole point of having a worldwide cryptocurrency outside the international banking swamp would be moot.

And I see the SEC and the IRS sitting back in the weeds, letting the coin build value and at the point they go after any ICO, seizing its assets and leaving the coinholder with nothing.

Overseas ICOs rely on Americans being one of the most active investment groups even to the point of creating MLM network marketing groups to push or mine coins. An MLM should never be the reason to support a specific coin.

I am looking at a number of factors in choosing the ICO with the best chance of success, backed buy a REAL product, with team members I can vet and maybe even restricting sales of the coin in the USA. I am getting very close and will discuss in my next post.

Commercial Loan Due Diligence

Due Diligence

I am Ted. The original Ted. And this is the Official Ted Blog.

There was a time when I was part of a team that was retained by a major California bank to go after post judgement money overseas. Their client, who they commercially funded(in the millions), defaulted on the loan. Judgement was issued by the court however the bank could find very few assets in the USA. They needed to take the hunt for the cash up a few notches as many of these clients were still living the high life. We were hired because of our relationships with international law enforcement and expats retired from the US Government living abroad. We had our methods which were successful in finding the money which would pave a path for our client to collect on the debt.

Throughout this investigative process we noticed a trend. While we investigated the case, we would find pre-existing detrimental data, that had the bank known, they would not have ever funded the loan.

I took our new data to this financial institution and asked them to implement a much deeper due diligence program. I found the loan officers and supervisors were over zealous in funding the loans. They just did not look that deep. If the surface of the package made sense, they pushed it through there funding meetings. Accountants crunch the numbers. Lawyers go over the paperwork. But who was looking deep into the past and civil and criminal issues? Who was looking the integrity of the company and its principals? They adopted our program. However there was this one case…where the LO tried slip one past us.

The VP of commercial funding had seen we had not signed off on the package which made sense considering we were never sent the package for review.

Their client was an aviation equipment company(that is still in business so I will leave their name out of this post). They wanted $2 Million dollars to retrofit a couple of 737 aircraft as island hoppers in Hawaii. The package looked great. And in fact they provided aviation equipment to the US Government and the Department of Defense. They made a forward statement in which they expected to have a continuing income from DoD contracts. Their financials looked great and they did have money in the bank.

Only one problem. A few years before, the company and its CEO were convicted in federal criminal court for defrauding the government. It seems they wanted to win a specific parts contract and they paid off the other bidders to bid really high so that this company could come in at low bid. Part of the conviction included an 8 year stay on this company being able to do business with the government in any way. So how does the forward statement above hold any water?

This is an integrity issue. Did our findings always stop the bank from funding the loans if they make sense in other ways? No and that was not our responsibility. But at least the financial institutions had additional data within their decision making process.

Integrity is everything and as a former investigator when I work with start up companies, IPO’s and ICO’s, I dig deep.

 

 

The new tax laws will benefit Apple and the economy

Apple tax haven

I am Ted. The original Ted. And this is the Official Ted Blog.

Let’s face it. Big tech like Microsoft, Google, Apple and others have faced mounting criticism in recent years for avoiding taxes in the US and Europe. We all pay our taxes including small businesses, and of course big corporate to date, in my opinion has not paid its share. Now we have good news from Apple.

Apple said it would pay an expected $38 billion in tax expenses to take back to the US a portion of the money it has reserved abroad over time. Apple says the installment would be the biggest expense of its tax debt ever. But at the same time it’s a quite decent arrangement for the organization.

In the wake of the tax break endorsed by Congress a month ago, Apple additionally reported plans to put $30 billion in the USA throughout the following five years, to make 20,000 jobs. In any case, it’s not clear how much those numbers spoke to an expansion from Apple’s past plans, or its amount will be supported by the repatriated money.

Apple didn’t determine how much cash it will repatriate. The organization had $252.3 billion in real money and “money like” resources abroad, as indicated by a recording with the Securities Exchange Commission a year ago. Under the new expense design, Apple and different organizations must pay assesses on remote benefits stopped abroad. Organizations aren’t required to really move those assets back to the US, yet there’s little purpose behind Apple to keep its money abroad once it’s paid the expense.

Had Apple chosen to take the greater part of its overseas money back to the US a year ago, it would have paid a duty rate of 35 percent, about $88.3 billion, short the duties paid to outside governments. Be that as it may, the assessment design passed a year ago just charges a one-time 15.5 percent impose on the greater part of an organization’s abroad money.