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SEC Closes Salt Lake City Office Following DEBT Box Lawsuit

SEC Closes Salt Lake City Office Following DEBT Box Lawsuit

Jun 4, 2024

SEC Closes Salt Lake City Office Following DEBT Box Lawsuit

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Salt Lake City regional office, known for its involvement in a failed fraud lawsuit against DEBT Box, is slated for closure. This decision comes after the SEC's case against DEBT Box was dismissed by a federal judge, and the regulatory body was ordered to pay the company $1.8 million in legal fees.


The lawsuit initially filed by the SEC in July 2023 accused DEBT Box of conducting an illicit $50 million cryptocurrency operation. However, the case took a turn when Judge Robert Shelby ruled that the SEC had exhibited "bad faith conduct" in its attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order to freeze DEBT Box's assets. Subsequently, the judge demanded the SEC to reimburse DEBT Box for attorney and receiver fees totaling approximately $1.8 million.

The SEC cited "significant attrition" among staff as the reason for the office's shutdown, with some personnel resigning due to the fallout from the DEBT Box case. Notably, SEC lawyers Michael Welsh and Joseph Watkins, who were based at the Salt Lake City office, resigned in April after being sanctioned for what Judge Shelby described as a "gross abuse of power."

In an official statement, the SEC announced the closure of its Salt Lake City office, emphasizing the consideration of its budget and organizational efficiency in the decision. The SEC confirmed that no other regional offices are presently earmarked for closure. The enforcement responsibilities of the Salt Lake City office will be transferred to the SEC's Denver office.

DEBT Box's Chief Marketing Officer, Miguel Francis-Santiago, commented on the situation, stating that the SEC's decision to close the Salt Lake City office is a direct response to the "gross misuse of power" highlighted by the dismissal of the DEBT Box case. He added that any further action brought by the SEC against DEBT Box would be required to proceed before Judge Shelby.

CoinDesk Article

SEC Press Release


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