30.10.2020

SEC Charges 2 With Fraudulent Water-Backed Token Sale

Larry Donnell and Shuwana Leonard were charged Friday with defrauding investors by allegedly stealing nearly $500,000 in the sale of bogus stock certificates and shilling an alkaline water-backed cryptocurrency and a non-existent bitcoin mining operation.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former Texas pastor and his wife for allegedly defrauding hundreds of investors through an alkaline water-backed cryptocurrency, TeshuaCoin.

The Leonards are accused of specifically targeting the African-American community in this alleged scheme. Their companies, Teshua Business Group and Teshuater, are also named as defendants.

The Leonards allegedly attempted to sell phony stock in their alkaline water bottle company, Teshuater, which they said would yield “short-term investment returns of up to 3,000 percent” according to the complaint. This raised $291,044.07.

Larry Leonard is also accused of shilling Teshuater’s “fully functioning cryptocurrency,” TeshuaCoin.

The complaint says he compared TeshuaCoin’s usability to bitcoin (BTC) and touted its “unique” attribute – it was backed by Teshuater’s bottled alkaline water. The SEC alleges TeshuaCoin was not actually backed by Teshuater. Leonard allegedly raised $170,395.20 out of his target $20 million through this scheme.

Leonard allegedly stole an additional $25,544.96 from investors in Teshuater’s non-existent bitcoin mine. The SEC said he failed to disclose the speculative nature of bitcoin mining and never actually invested the stolen funds in the mine.

Along the way, the couple is said to have stolen $486,984.28 from 500 total investors.

Santander Hires Former Apple Pay Exec to Lead P2P Payments

An executive formerly working on Apple’s payments products has joined Banco Santander.

Trish Burgess joins the Spain-based multinational as the new global head of Peer-to-Peer Payments and will direct its expansion of digital payments services globally, according to an announcement Thursday.

Burgess worked at Apple for 4.5 years, her LinkedIn profile indicates, where she helped lead the launches of both Apple Card and Apple Pay.

The news marks Burgess’ return to Santander, having held a role in securities at the bank from 2007 to 2010. Since then, she’s held senior roles at BNP Paribas and Visa. Her education saw her study finance and marketing and electronics with a focus on telecoms.

At Santander, Burgess will report to Chirag Patel, global head of Santander Digital Payments, and will target improved user experiences and growing the adoption of P2P payments “to foster an international payment network,” the banks says.

“Trish’s appointment as head of P2P highlights our commitment to delivering best-in-class payments solutions
for our customers.” said Patel. “We know that innovation is powered by the most talented people, and we welcome Trish’s wealth of payment experience.”

Santander last year dedicated €20 billion to invest in digital and technology over four years.

In 2018, the bank launched a blockchain-based mobile app for fee-free cross-border foreign exchange that used Ripple’s xCurrent tech. One Pay FX was initially rolled out for Santander’s customers in Spain, the U.K., and the U.S., but later expanded to Latin America.

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