The Cyber Unit of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against an allegedly fraudulent ICO, according to a report by

According to the newly-created Cyber Unit, a Canadian start-up called Plex Corps fraudulently "raised up to $15 million from thousands of investors since August by falsely promising a 13-fold profit in less than a month."

Plex Corps and its head, Dominic Lacroix, have been accused of offering a token promising "a 1,354 percent profit in less than 29 days." The SEC froze the assets of those involved, including Lacroix and Plex Corps.

This is not the first time Lacroix has run into trouble for his financial dealings: he was found in contempt of court in October 2017 "following an application filed by the Autorité des marchés financiers." Prior to that, Lacroix was found guilty of violating securities law earlier in the summer.

The ICO craze, which has swept the digital currency and blockchain worlds, has brought along both supporters and detractors. On the one hand, ICOs have already proven to be an effective means for blockchain-focused startups to make a name for themselves among an interested investor base (and to earn crucial fundraising money). On the other, the dangers and potential scams inherent in the trend are many. (See more: SEC Warns Investors About Scam ICOs.)

'Full-Fledged Cyber Scam'

The SEC launched its Cyber Unit in mid-2017 in response to the rapid proliferation of cryptocurrencies and ICOs. This is the first complaint that the unit has filed against an ICO accused of committing fraud.

"This first Cyber Unit case hits all of the characteristics of a full-fledged cyber scam and is exactly the kind of misconduct the unit will be pursuing," said Cyber Unit Chief Robert Cohen. "We acted quickly to protect retail investors from this initial coin offering's false promises."

Exactly what the SEC's Cyber Unit is responsible for remains unclear, although it appears to investigate misconduct surrounding ICOs and distributed ledger technology more broadly. (See also: Phishing Scams Have Cost ICO Investors $225 Million.)

Plex Corps's Dominic Lacroix is charged with "violating the anti-fraud provisions [and] violating the registration provision...of the U.S. federal securities laws." If he is convicted, Lacroix will be barred from participating in the cryptocurrency industry.

Plex Corps previously offered Plex Coin, which it termed "the next decentralized worldwide cryptocurrency, based on the ethereum structure. Its mission is to broaden the possibilities of uses and to increase the number of users by simplifying the process of managing cryptocurrency to tha maximum."

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