The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received a court order to stop the planned initial coin offering (ICO), the organizers of which allegedly received permission from the SEC.

According to the commission’s press release, Blockvest LLC and its founder Reginald Buddy Ringgold III, who also goes by the name Rasul Abdul Rahim El, falsely stated that the ICO had received approval from various regulators. They used the SEC seal without permission, which is a violation of federal laws, and also fraudulently described their crypto fund as licensed.

In addition, Ringgold promoted the ICO using a fake agency he created, the Blockchain Exchange Commission, which used a graphic similar to the SEC seal and the same address as the commission’s headquarters.

Blockvest and Ringgold have also been charged with other fraudulent activities.

“We allege that this ICO is using the SEC seal to deceive investors into thinking it has regulatory approval,” said SEC Cybersecurity Division Chief Robert Cohen. “The SEC does not endorse investment products and investors should be very skeptical about any statements suggesting otherwise.”

The Southern District of California court issued permission to freeze the defendants’ assets. A hearing in the case is scheduled for October 18.