NEW YORK, Feb 22 (Reuters) – CoinEx was sued on Wednesday by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who accused the cryptocurrency exchange of transacting business illegally because it did not register with the state.
In papers filed with a New York state court in Manhattan, James accused CoinEx of having “engaged in repeated and persistent fraudulent practices.”
She said CoinEx’s failure to register as a commodity broker-dealer, securities broker or securities dealer before buying and selling tokens violated the Martin Act, a powerful state law used to fight financial fraud.
James also said CoinEx held itself out without state permission as a global cryptocurrency “exchange,” and failed last month to comply with her subpoena for testimony about its digital asset trading activities.
“The days of crypto companies like CoinEx acting like the rules do not apply to them are over,” James said in a statement.
CoinEx did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Hong Kong-based company was founded in 2017 and is also known as Vino Global Ltd, according to court papers.
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James’ civil lawsuit seeks restitution, and a ban on access to CoinEx’s mobile app, website and services from New York.
In January, New York and nine other U.S. states secured up to $24 million from the cryptocurrency company Nexo Inc and an affiliate to resolve civil claims they transacted without proper registration and lied about their registration status.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio
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