The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused a Texas couple of tricking hundreds of people through several fraudulent investment offers.
According to SEC, former pastor Larry Donnel Leonard and his wife Shuwana Leonard raised nearly half a million dollars from 500 investors through their companies Teshuater and Teshua Business Group.
At first, the couple sold fake stock certificates to Teshuater Alkaline Water Company. They then attempted to conduct a $20 million token sale of the TeshuaCoin coin, allegedly backed by Teshuater products.
After that, Larry Leonard raised funds for a non-existent Bitcoin mining business, promising investors prohibitively high returns. Leonard sent the money to speculative trading in options.
Also, according to the SEC, when raising funds, Leonards focused mainly on African-American investors.
The agency accuses the couple of violating the laws on securities and fraud, asks the court to recover the funds raised from them and impose a fine.