Ormeus Coin: Siblings Charged Over Mining That Allegedly Yields $124 Million Fraud

The brother and sister duo will face charges including security fraud, wire fraud, and conspiring in the Ormeus Coin ICO.

Ormeus Coin’s hoax has landed a pair of siblings in deep water with the US government, who have filed criminal charges against them for allegedly defrauding investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged brothers John Albert Loar Barksdale and JonAtina (Tina) Barksdale with breaking federal securities laws and cheating at least 12,000 “retail investors out of more than $124 million” on March 8. The DOJ arrested John in a foreign country and accused of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy.

The Barksdale siblings are both citizens of the United States. According to Reuters, John, 41, was residing in Thail, and JonAtina, 45, was in Hong Kong.

Starting in 2017, theatre two Ormeus Coin (ORME) initial coin offers (ICOs). The Barksdales lied about “the size, value, and supposed profitability of Ormeus Coin’s cryptocurrency mining assets,” according to the SEC complaint.

ORME is an Ethereum (ETH) and BNB Chain (BNB) ERC-20 and BEP-20 token (BNB).

While both siblings contributed to the project’s social media posts and videos, only John went to roadshows and conferences to promote it. Melissa Hodgman, an associate director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, compared John to a “snake-oil salesman.” She further claimed that both siblings used “social media, promotional websites, and in-person roadshows to deceive retail investors for personal gain.”

Hodgman also confirmed the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrency scammers, saying:

“We will continue to vigorously pursue persons who sell securities in schemes to defraud the investing public no matter what label the promoters apply to their products.”

Both the SEC and the DOJ are accusing the Barksdales of making false statements to investors regarding the health of the Ormeus mining business. Mining operations for the Oremus Coin began in November 2017 with real Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Dash (DASH) mining machines, according to the Oremus Coin website. The Barksdales stated that the project had put $250 million into the mining operation that supported ORME and that it was bringing in $5 million per month.

The project is accused of deceiving investors by claiming that its vault wallet was worth more than $190 million as of November of last year. The display, however, was purportedly created using a second website that displayed the value of an unconnected wallet. The project’s true wallets, according to the SEC, “were worth less than $500,000.”

The mining enterprise “never attained a value close to $250 million” and “never produced sales surpassing one million dollars in any month,” according to the DOJ.