Texas State Securities Board Order Shuts Down Cryptocurrency Mining Company’s Fraudulent COVID-19 Charity Sales Pitch

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) filed an Emergency Cease and Desist Order against Ultra BTC Mining and Laura Branch on April 8, 2020, alleging the cryptocurrency mining company promised to double investors’ money in one year while also claiming to contribute money to UNICEF to “fight COVID-19.” According to the order, the company is telling its potential investors that a $10,000 investment in computing power will return nearly $10,500 per year.  A $50,000 investment will return nearly $52,000 per year.

As part of its sales pitch, Ultra Mining and Laura Branch, an agent of the company, are touting the company’s charitable donations to assist victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company claims it has already donated $100,000 to UNICEF to assist people around the world and “will again donate for COVID-19,” according to the order.

Ultra Mining allegedly raised $18 million from Texas residents for investments in computer power to mine cryptocurrencies.  TSSB’s action was brought jointly with the Alabama Securities Commission to stop the cloud mining scheme.

The company is also operating an affiliate program that pays commissions to individuals who recruit new investors, according to the order.  Affiliates receive 5% of the deposits from these new investors.

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