Last September, the SEC took the Hydrogen Technology Corporation and its CEO, Michael Ross Kane, to court for the alleged price manipulation of the firm’s proprietary token, HYDRO.
Proven Manipulation Of Market Value
According to the charges, Kane used services offered by Moonwalkers Trading Ltd, a South African company, without a clear legitimate business purpose in order to conduct bogus trades using the HYDRO token.
We announced charges against The Hydrogen Technology Corporation, its former CEO, Michael Ross Kane, and CEO of Moonwalkers Trading Limited, Tyler Ostern, for unregistered offers, sales, and manipulation of crypto asset securities called “Hydro.”
— U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (@SECGov) September 30, 2022
This caused the price of HYDRO tokens to soar way above their actual worth, netting everyone involved about $1.5 million worth of illegitimate profits.
Tyler Ostern, the CEO of Moonwalkers Ltd., was also charged in the lawsuit. However, his role as a hired party was not as important to the SEC, and he quickly settled with them for $41,000.
On April 20th, the courts reached a final decision regarding the fate of Hydrogen Corp. and its CEO.
According to court documents, Hydrogen Technology and Michael Kane have up to a year to pay over $2.6 million in fines and disgorgement fees, the latter being the legal term for restitution of unlawfully made profits.
Hydrogen Technology Corporation currently owes the SEC more than $1.5 million in disgorgement, prejudgement interest worth over $244k, and a civil penalty of over $1 million. Michael Ross Kane has also been ordered to pay a separate civil penalty of over $260k for his coordinating role in the scheme.
Banned From Crypto-Related Business Ventures
The judge presiding over the case also informed Kane that he and any business entities he may control are forbidden from participating in further offerings of crypto assets, effectively barring him from business deals that involve cryptocurrencies forever.
However, Kane is permitted to buy, sell and invest in cryptocurrencies from his personal account(s).
Defendants Hydrogen and Kane each are permanently restrained and enjoined from participating, directly or indirectly, including, but not limited to, through any entity controlled by defendants, in any offering of crypto asset securities, provided, however, that such injunction shall not prevent Kane from purchasing or selling crypto asset securities for his own personal account.
Furthermore, Kane has been ordered to burn – or remove from the market by other means – all HYDRO tokens in his personal accounts and the accounts his company controls.