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Source: Securities and Exchange Commission

Litigation Release No. 24986 / December 15, 2020

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Karina Chairez, No. 1:20-cv-10582 (S.D.N.Y. filed Dec. 15, 2020)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Karina Chairez, a high-level promoter of the AirBit Club investment scheme that targeted Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities, for acting as an unregistered broker. The SEC previously brought similar charges against two other high-level promoters of AirBit Club, which promised investors returns through a purported digital asset trading program and from the recruitment of others.

The SEC’s complaint, filed today, alleges that Chairez solicited investors for AirBit Club, including through social media platforms and in-person meetings, without registering with the Commission. According to the complaint, Chairez raised large sums from investors, positioned herself at the top of an extensive pyramid of AirBit investors, and received substantial compensation from AirBit for the sale of the securities.

The SEC’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges Chairez with violating the broker-dealer registration provision of Section 15(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement and prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.

In a related action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York previously filed charges against Chairez.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, is being conducted by Manuel Vazquez, Dora Zaldivar, and Gary Y. Leung. The litigation will be led by John B. Bulgozdy and Michael Sew Hoy, and supervised by Amy Jane Longo.