SEC Unit to Boost Crypto Enforcement Team

General attorneys for the SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit can earn between $140k to $260k depending on their location

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Source: Shutterstock / DCStockPhotography, modified by Blockworks

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The Securities and Exchange Commissions’ crypto crime department is looking to boost its team with three new legal hires, signaling an intent to crack down further on the industry with enforcement actions.

A tweet from the SEC’s official careers handle showed the agency’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit is looking to hire general attorneys in New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

The recruits would be responsible for conducting “fast-moving investigations” in cryptoasset securities and cyber issues, according to a job posting.

Other responsibilities include drafting subpoenas, questioning witnesses, evaluating testimonial evidence and preparation of litigation-related documents. Depending on the location, salaries listed for the position range between $140,830 to $259,590.

The unit is continuing to hire after a string of enforcement actions against players in the industry in recent months. Nearly a year ago, the size of the same team almost doubled as it planned to grow to a staff of 50. The SEC said the division had brought dozens of cases against people looking to take advantage of crypto investors. 

Since 2013, total fines imposed by the SEC against bad actors in the crypto market hit $2.6 billion last year. Many of those enforcement actions were related to fraud and unregistered securities offerings. BUSD issuer Paxos, Terraform Labs and FTX have so far been among firms facing the wrath of the SEC’s protective measures.

Crypto industry execs including Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong have called on regulators for clarity, saying that if they don’t, perhaps courts will need to intervene.

The SEC isn’t the only US regulator that has a specialized unit designed to protect investors in the crypto market. The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which supervises national banks, recently established a new fintech office to supplement its knowledge on the latest technological evolutions including digital assets. 

Called the Office of Financial Technology, it will serve to assist the US Treasury in analyzing developments related to crypto and contribute to oversight of fintech partnerships.


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