violations Archives -
Japanese police have seized cryptocurrency belonging to a man with unpaid parking fines. The police explain that the revised fund settlement law enacted in April last year allows cryptocurrency to be seized like any other asset.
Crypto Seized for Parking Violations
The Hyogo Prefectural Police traffic guidance division announced this week that it had seized cryptocurrency owned by a 59-year-old resident with multiple delinquent parking violation charges, local media reported. Hyogo is a prefecture in the Kansai region of the country’s main island, Honshu. Kobe, located west of Osaka and Kyoto, is the capital of the prefecture.
The Kobe Shimbun reported that about 5,000 yen (~US$ 44) worth of cryptocurrency was seized but the police did not reveal which crypto. Nikkei, on the other hand, reported that “there were 2 kinds” of cryptocurrencies “such as bitcoin deposited with an exchange that were seized.” The news outlet elaborated:
According to the prefectural police traffic guidance division, it is the first time in the country to seize virtual currency in relation to parking violations.
However, the crypto seized from the man’s account at an exchange currently does not cover the total amount owed to the cops. According to the Kobe Shimbun, he has failed to pay a total of 99,700 yen (~$ 885) in violation charges including four parking tickets issued between January 2014 and July 2016.
The news outlet further detailed that if payment is not received by the end of this month, which is the deadline for claiming seized property, the cryptocurrency will be cashed out at the current rate and paid to the prefectural police.
Crypto is Asset that Can be Seized
The man’s parking violations are considered “unattended vehicle.” The Kyoto Prefectural Police explained that the term means “a vehicle that is illegally parked, with its driver away from the car, and which cannot be started immediately. This is regardless of the length of parking time, or whether the vehicle engine is turned on or off, or whether the emergency flashing lights on or off.”
Usually, “Land, houses, automobiles, bank savings, salary, and life insurance payouts could be seized, based on the decision of the Public Safety Commission,” the police clarified.
However, in the case of the 59-year-old, the Hyogo Prefectural Police “did not know his place of work and [he] had no cash deposits or savings,” the publication conveyed. Citing that the revised fund settlement act that legalizes cryptocurrency as a means of payment enables the police to seize crypto assets, the news outlet elaborated:
According to the prefectural police, after [crypto] asset value was recognized by the revised fund settlement law enforced in April last year, it [cryptocurrency] was judged as an asset that can be seized.
The Hyogo Prefectural Police have been increasingly active in collecting unpaid fines and have seized small items including an automatic mahjong table, golf bags, figurines, and brand name goods, the Kobe Shimbun described. The division says that they will not allow violators “to escape since it will be unfair for the people who are paying [the fines].”
Editor’s Note: Nathalie Stucky contributed to this article.
What do you think of the Japanese police seizing crypto for unpaid fines? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Hyogo Prefectural Police.
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A class action lawsuit has been filed against Ripple Labs, its CEO, and subsidiary. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants have violated the state and federal securities laws, engaging in schemes to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through the sale of unregistered ripple tokens (XRP).
Class Action Lawsuit
San Diego resident Ryan Coffey has filed a “securities class action” lawsuit against Ripple Labs Inc, its CEO Bradley Garlinghouse, its wholly owned subsidiary XRP II LLC, and ten related persons. Attorney James Taylor-Copeland representing Coffey filed the lawsuit with the Superior Court of the State of California, seeking damages on behalf of Coffey and all others similarly situated.
According to the court document dated May 3, Coffey purchased 650 XRP at $ 2.60 per token around January 6 and sold them at approximately $ 1.70 per token around January 18. Coffey described:
[The lawsuit] arises out of a scheme by defendants to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through the unregistered sale of XRP to retail investors in violation of the registration provisions of state and federal securities laws.
‘XRP Genesis and the Never-Ending ICO’
Coffey detailed in his filing, “unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum…all 100 billion of the XRP in existence were created out of thin air by Ripple Labs at its inception in 2013.”
Citing that 20 billion tokens were given to Ripple Labs’ founders and 80 billion to the company itself, he alleges that the defendants “earned massive profits by quietly selling off this XRP to the general public,” adding:
From 2013 to the present, [the] defendants have been engaged in an ongoing scheme to sell XRP to the general public in a never ending ICO…Defendants’ sales of XRP to the public accelerated rapidly in 2017 and early 2018.
He also claims that “these ICOs have become a magnet for unscrupulous practices and fraud.”
Coffey alleges that the “defendants market XRP to drive demand and increase [its] price,” including “blur[ring] differences between Ripple Labs’ Enterprise Solutions and XRP.” Other tactics include offering a bribe to Coinbase and Gemini exchanges to list XRP and promising R3, an enterprise software firm with a network of banks and financial institutions, a 5 billion XRP option, Coffey added.
At the time of this writing, XRP is trading at $ 0.91 on Bitfinex, a 73% drop from its high of $ 3.30 in January.
Violations of Securities Laws
Citing that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made it clear that digital tokens including XRP often constitute “securities and may not be lawfully sold without registration with the SEC or pursuant to an exemption from registration,” Coffey elaborated:
The XRP offered and sold by [the] defendants have all the traditional hallmarks of a security…However, [the] defendants did not register XRP with the SEC, and many of the representations [the] defendants made regarding XRP were designed to drive demand of XRP, allowing defendants to obtain greater returns on their XRP sales.
Last month, the SEC stated that both XRP and ether could be classified as securities. However, Ripple’s chief market strategist, Cory Johnson, told CNBC in early April:
We absolutely are not a security. We don’t meet the standards for what a security is based on the history of court law.
Do you think this securities class action lawsuit against Ripple has any legs? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Trading View, and Ripple Labs.
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Judge fines CashCall $10.3 million, a fraction of what was sought by CFPB for lending law violationsJanuary 24, 2018 | dailybusinessnews
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