Indian American owned cryptocurrency company under SEC scanner

Indian American owned cryptocurrency company under SEC scanner

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NEW YORK(TIP): The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) is investigating into an alleged securities fraud with a cryptocurrency Longfin company founded by an Indian American.

According to the complaint filed by SEC 
in federal court in Manhattan on April 4, shortly after Longfin began 
trading on NASDAQ and announced the acquisition of a purported 
cryptocurrency business, its stock price rose dramatically, and its 
market capitalization exceeded $3 billion.

The SEC alleges that Amro Izzelden 
“Andy” Altahawi, Dorababu Penumarthi, and Suresh Tammineedi then 
illegally sold large blocks of their restricted Longfin shares to the 
public while the stock price was highly elevated. Through their sales, 
Altahawi, Penumarthi, and Tammineedi collectively reaped more than $27 
million in profits.

The complaint alleges that Meenavalli, 
caused the company to issue more than two million unregistered, 
restricted shares to Altahawi, who was the corporate secretary and a 
director of Longfin, and tens of thousands of restricted shares to two 
other affiliated individuals, Penumarthi and Tammineedi, who were 
allegedly acting as nominees for Meenavalli. The subsequent sales of 
those restricted shares violated federal securities laws that restrict 
trading in unregistered shares distributed to company affiliates.

Venkat Meenavalli, the founder and CEO 
of the cryptocurrency company Longfin, and his three associates are 
being investigated by the SEC authorities. The authorities have already 
frozen more than $27 million in trading proceeds from allegedly illegal 
distributions and sales of restricted shares of Longfin. Last week, the 
company was suspended from trading on Nasdaq.

 “We acted quickly to prevent more than 
$27 million in alleged illicit trading profits from being transferred 
out of the country,” said Robert Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement 
Division’s Cyber Unit.  “Preventing defendants from transferring this 
money offshore will ensure that these funds remain available as the case


The SEC’s complaint, which was filed 
under seal on April 4, charges Longfin, Meenavalli, Altahawi, 
Penumarthi, and Tammineedi with violating Section 5 of the Securities 
Act of 1933. The complaint seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of 
ill-gotten gains, and penalties, among other relief.


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