Bitcoin Latinum Named in Civil Lawsuit Alleging Securities Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Fraudulent Conversion of Investment Funds

February 2, 2022 14:50:54

Bitcoin Latinum, a Palo-Alto, California-based cryptocurrency, and Kevin Jonna of San Diego, California, have been named in a civil lawsuit filed on February 1, 2022 alleging securities fraud, wire fraud, and fraudulent conversion of investment funds.  The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, alleges that Bitcoin Latinum and Kevin Jonna offered and sold at least $540,000 of unregistered securities from California in the form of a cryptocurrency called a “Bitcoin Latinum Token” (“Token”), which currently displays a trading price on certain crypto exchanges under the ticker “LTNM.”

The lawsuit alleges that Bitcoin Latinum and Kevin Jonna, who never have been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or any state securities regulator, in any capacity, offered and sold the unregistered security tokens through a “pre-sale” to the public on the Bitcoin Latinum website and directly by Kevin Jonna to individual investors.

Counsel to the Plaintiffs, Jacob Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor and former SEC Enforcement lawyer who Chairs the Government Investigations Practice at Dickinson Wright, commented: “The fraud that we allege against our clients has the characteristics of offering frauds that I pursued as a government lawyer. With so many people looking for ways to diversify into crypto and alternative assets and legitimate enterprises trying to enter the crypto space, it is conduct as we charge against these defendants that only contributes to the skepticism about cryptocurrencies.”

Filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the lawsuit alleges Bitcoin Latinum and Kevin Jonna used e-mails, text messages and telephone calls to defraud and deceive the investors in the offer and sale of unregistered securities.  According to the complaint, Bitcoin Latinum and Kevin Jonna offered and sold approximately $540,000 of Tokens to at least three investors in Michigan between September 1 and December 31, 2021, in violation of federal and state securities laws. The complaint also alleges that Bitcoin Latinum and Kevin Jonna engaged in wire fraud, false advertising, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and unregistered broker-dealer activity in further violation of securities laws.

Federal and state securities laws apply to anyone offering or selling securities, regardless of whether those securities are purchased with U.S. dollars or virtual currencies, and regardless of whether they are distributed in certificated form or through blockchain technology.

Bitcoin Latinum’s website advertises itself as the “next-generation Bitcoin blockchain-based token, capable of massive transaction volume, digital asset management, cybersecurity, and transaction capacity.  The company’s website further states “Bitcoin Latinum asset backing is held in a fund model so that base asset value increases over time. It accelerates this asset back funds growth by depositing 80% of the transaction fee back into the asset fund.”  The website further touts its partnership with a Grammy-nominated recording artist to acquire what purports to be a non-fungible token in “Cyber Yachts.”

Frenkel, who spent almost 10 years in the SEC’s Enforcement Division noted, as pointed out in the complaint, “more than four years ago, the SEC issued a warning around celebrities — entertainers and athletes — lending their names to fraudulent offerings, including in the cryptocurrency space. The next year the SEC filed enforcement actions against pro boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and music producer Khaled Khaled, commonly known as DJ Khaled. The touting of the crypto-asset in this case appears to be following that playbook.”

On a January 10 press release, which is posted to the website, and as alleged in the Complaint, Bitcoin Latinum claims that “Latinum currently trades publicly on” multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, claiming trading volume in the billions of dollars. The lawsuit alleges that the contention that the Tokens “trading publicly” on any or all of these quotation media is materially false and misleading.  Frenkel commented “I expect that we will learn in discovery what led these cryptocurrency trading platforms to accept Latinum for publication on their platforms.”

The fifteen count complaint seeks to recover damages arising from the acts of Bitcoin Latinum and Kevin Jonna, rescission of the offering, attorneys’ fees, and other punitive and equitable relief.

To view the full court-filed complaint, visit

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